AMU Cyber & AI

BSides Las Vegas Information Security Conference Opens

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By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

BSidesLV, a non-profit organization designed to advance information security knowledge, opened its annual two-day open conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 25.

BSidesLV includes discussions and debates for security engineers and their affiliates. But what makes this conference unique is that admission is free; costs are covered by donors and sponsors.

As the 2017 handbook states, “The technical and academic presentations at BSidesLV are given in the spirit of peer review and advanced knowledge dissemination.”

BSidesLV Offers Multiple Specialized Presentations to Suit Needs of Attendees

BSides LV offers a multitude of presentation tracks to help attendees improve their knowledge. The various tracks are indicative of the scope of the convention – everything from new research and password protection to hiring opportunities.

Breaking Ground Track

In the Breaking Ground Track, speakers present new and ongoing research and solicit attendees’ feedback, insight and opinions.

Ground 1234! Track

The Ground 1234! Track is all about password security. Its sessions include topics such as why people need to entirely rethink the use of passwords, as well as how to make passwords easier for end users without compromising security.

Proving Ground Track

In the Proving Ground Track, first-time speakers have a platform to make their voices heard in a welcoming environment, supported by mentors who assist them in their preparation and practice runs. First-time speakers give BSidesLV attendees an opportunity to hear about new topics and new research.

Ground Truth Track

Ground Truth focuses on innovative computer science and mathematics as applied to information security, natural language processing, machine learning, statistics and all manner of big data manipulation and analysis.

I Am The Calvary Track

This track features presentations from a group of information security advocates called “I Am The Cavalry.” This group examines IT issues and how they affect human life and public safety.

Job Hunters Track

Besides being a rich environment for learning and networking with information security professions of all skill levels, BSidesLV is also an event of interest to organizations looking to hire additional staff.

Hire Ground is a series of talks devoted to the hiring process – everything from resumes to interviews. For this track, a large conference room is reserved for human resources employees and hiring managers, who review job seekers’ resumes and conduct interviews.

One of the more interesting companies in Hire Ground is ClearedJobs.Net. According to its website, “ClearedJobs.Net is a veteran-owned career site and job fair company for professionals seeking careers in the defense, intelligence and cyber security communities.”

The success of the conference is dependent on the effort attendees put into learning and networking. There is something for everyone to learn at BSidesLV, and even the possibility of finding new employment opportunities.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Adjutant for The American Legion, China Post 1. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Wes O’Donnell is an Army and Air Force veteran and writer covering military and tech topics. As a sought-after professional speaker, Wes has presented at U.S. Air Force Academy, Fortune 500 companies, and TEDx, covering trending topics from data visualization to leadership and veterans’ advocacy. As a filmmaker, he directed the award-winning short film, “Memorial Day.”

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