BSides Knoxville returning for second year, calling for session proposals

BSidesBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

The headline on the webpage says everything: “BSides is coming back to Knoxville!”

The one-day event, which drew a capacity crowd of 200 in its inaugural year in 2015, will use two venues when it returns on May 20. In addition to the primary location – Scruffy City Hall on Market Square, BSides Knoxville will also have some of its sessions in the nearby Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

“BSides is held in cities all over the world,” Jed Eaton, one of the members of the planning committee, told us. “Everybody liked last year’s event, so we are expanding it this year.”

The dual venues will allow the attendance to grow to about 250 as well as enabling the offering of two concurrent program tracks.

Roger Seagle, another member of the planning group, describes the “bread and butter” of BSides Knoxville as “everything from what hackers are currently doing today to what you need to do to defend against their attacks.”

Adrian Sanabria and Adam Caudill are the other members in addition to Eaton and Seagle which make-up the planning board for B-Sides Knoxville.

Both Eaton and Seagle work for Cisco Systems which has a large presence in West Knoxville. Their company is the Platinum Sponsor. Local security firm Sword & Shield Enterprise Security is a Gold Sponsor. Appsec Consulting and Rysc Corporation are Silver level sponsors. Other sponsorship opportunities are available, and here’s a link to more information.

“Connectivity is a given, but security of that is not,” Eaton says in reference to the burgeoning volume of email, social media, and the transfer of data. “Cyber security is a big deal and getting to be a bigger deal.”

BSides sessions are designed to spotlight challenges and solutions in a city that has a growing number of software firms and security companies in addition to cyber researchers at places like Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

There’s also a critical need for qualified workers – from those with certificates to those with two-year, four-year and advanced degrees.

“There are a lot more jobs available than people to fill them,” Eaton says.

The formal program sessions will be determined after an April 2 deadline passes for the open call for papers to be presented. Those interested in submitting a paper can do so through this link.

Registration fee for the day-long session is only $20 and includes two drink tickets plus breakfast, lunch, snacks and an after party with live music acts later that evening at Scruffy City Hall.

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