Last year was my first visit to InfoSec. As someone more concerned with operational use of systems than the technical stuff there was much less for me outside of the workshops and other presented sessions. It was a lesson learned.
InfoSec is a massive Information Security hub which still draws in professionals from across the land. This means it is much more like the town markets of pre-automobile times. On ‘Market Day’ the local farmers would gather to meet (or ‘Network’ in modern terms) and chat as well as sell their wares. It was a vital way of exchanging knowledge and considering current problems in the hope of finding solutions. The local pubs did their best business of the month as they provided the best places for this knowledge exchange. It was also an opportunity to re-enforce the social hierarchy amongst the farmers; who was good and who was sloppy or still learning. It was even a job centre for those who needed casual work for short term. As I walked around lnfoSec12 I saw a lot of similarities.
So this year I learnt the lessons of Market day. For the last 3 weeks we have been making contact with a range of people we are in touch with across the year by phone and Email and finding out who will be there when we are. As a result it seems that there will be a lot of coffee and tea drunk and I will, no doubt, learn a lot as well as re-enforce friendships and, hopefully, have a few laughs.
There will be plenty of presented sessions and prize giving stuff that will good for those who look for unpackaged information security. These will be a lot like when the experienced famers would share their opinions in the local pubs and others would soak up the experience with their beer.
Of course the vendors are not wasting their time because ‘Market Day’ is a market after all. On the ‘To-Do-list’ of many of the visitors will undoubtably be visiting vendors and having discussions that will help both sides to understand how the products on offer might meet procurement requirements. Each query might be the one that opens a big order – no pressure chaps.
So I will be polishing up my comfy shoes, topping up my business card holder and charging my phone and heading for InfoSec on Tuesday. If I keep my ears and eyes it could be an interesting day.