The first-ever BSides event in San Diego, CA is all set to kick off Friday, January 13th, and we’re rarin’ to rub elbows with our InfoSec community family.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Security BSides, it’s a community-driven series of events created by InfoSec professionals for InfoSec professionals. The events are held around the world and have a strong following in the security business.

The first Security BSides was held in Las Vegas in 2009. Since then, there have been more than 300 BSides events held across the globe. San Diego now joins the security communities of Munich, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Bordeaux, France; all of which are also hosting their first Security BSides events this year.

I attended my first Security BSides event in 2014 in Las Vegas as part of the big trio of security events: Black Hat, BSides, and DEF CON. At that time, I was new to the iovation team and the security community as a whole. BSides offered an ideal environment for me to pick up some valuable concepts and start honing my security chops.

Not surprisingly, many of the presentations at that first event were way over my head, given my fresh “noob” status. Still, the low-key nature of BSides made the overall experience a positive one. The event turned out to be far less intimidating than Black Hat or DEF CON, which are mammoth in size.

Since then, I've embraced these events and content sharing and decided to do some sharing of my own. This Saturday at 3 o'clock I will be presenting on "Tales from the Crypt: A Cryptography Primer". This presentation will focus on the confusing and complex subject of cryptography, explaining how to properly use cryptography to secure user credentials and sensitive data. I looking forward to discussing cryptographic methodologies and algorithms available to most systems. Make sure to come and listen and say hello!

BSides was personal, pleasantly comfortable, and free! Talk about a win-win. Suffice it to say that I have the highest respect for conference organizers who go the extra mile to keep events more easily accessible to the audiences that will benefit from them the most.

While the BSides San Diego event is currently sold out, don’t fret. There are currently no less than 27 other Security BSides events on the calendar in 2017. So do yourself a favor and put one – or three – on your schedule. For security professionals, it remains one of the best experiences you can have, and the cost to attend is just right.