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SecurityCon 2020 drew a record-breaking number of registrations and attendees — of course via Zoom, given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charlie Mewshaw headshot
Charlie Mewshaw

The Information Security Office’s first virtual SecurityCon on October 9 drew more than 150 registrants for the talks, 20-plus for the Capture the Flag contest and a stable flow of attendees in and out over the course of the panel discussions and keynote speaker.

“The event was a success,” said Charlie Mewshaw, who co-managed SecurityCon with Michael Williams. Both are with the Information Security Office.

Keynote speaker from Red Hat

Lucy Kerner, Senior Principal Global Cybersecurity Evangelist and Strategist at Red Hat, presented the SecurityCon keynote address. She shared insights from her career path and her views on the risk landscape in cloud computing.

In addition to a panel discussion about the intersection of privacy and information security, SecurityCon featured a Data@Rest panel conversation about information security incident handling during a pandemic. Mewshaw and Williams, who produce the Data@Rest podcast for the Information Security Office, led the panel discussion on incident handling. Their fellow panelists were Peter Voland of the School of Medicine, Sam Garcia of the School of Dentistry and Drew Trumbull of the Information Security Office.

Fun and games too

Michael Williams records Data@Rest
Michael Williams

In other SecurityCon activities, the Capture the Flag competition drew twice as many entrants as in previous years. Participants learned about the Google Cloud Platform while solving challenges, in a contest created by Jared Perdue of the Information Security Office. Jan Werner, a research professional with the Renaissance Computing Institute, took first in the competition.

SecurityCon also featured a lockpicking video created by Dave Eiselman of Information Security Office.

Swag tradition continues

After the event, Campus Mail delivered swag bags to registrants. In that way, the virtual event could still provide the physical goodies that attendees have come to expect from SecurityCon.

Now that the Information Security Office has “learned the nuts and bolts of running a virtual event,” Mewshaw said, “I think we can add those lessons to our tool belt and grow outreach and awareness surrounding information security in ways we wouldn’t have thought of six months ago.”

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