ISSA, Fort Worth Chapter

ISSA International Conference Recap

Over 800 people gathered at the beautiful Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California on October 9-11 for three days of leadership, presentations, networking and fun. ISSA conferences are always a good time and a great value, and this year was no exception.

Although we live tweeted the entire event, I thought it would be useful to write up a recap in case you couldn’t attend and were thinking of attending next year.

Day 1 – Chapter Leaders Summit

Despite a few technical glitches early on, the day turned out to be an informative and encouraging success.

One particularly outstanding success story was from the Phoenix, Arizona Chapter with their AZ Cyber Warfare Range initiative, a 24×7 live-fire cyber warfare range for attackers and defenders. It’s an excellent opportunity to develop and hone blue or red team skills.

I had the privilege of presenting Chapter 2.0, which is our story of how we redesigned the Chapter in January. With a 39% increase in membership and a 200% increase in participation, we’re on track to have a record year.

Day 2 – Breakout Sessions, Party on the Deck and More

General conference activities began on day 2. ISSA President Keyaan Williams kicked off the day with his keynote, noting that ISSA now has over 11,000 members in over 80 countries, making it truly a global presence for information security professionals.

Keyaan outlined the Board priorities for ISSA members:

Of course, the two highlights of the day were the presentations from our very own James K. Adamson and Steve Horstman. Both knocked it out of the park with well-attended sessions.

The day wrapped up with the Party on the Deck, the deck of the U.S.S. Midway, that is. What an incredible display of engineering!

Day 3 – Tara Wheeler Keynote, Breakout Sessions and Awards Luncheon

Tarah Wheeler reminded us that no one is an expert and offers encouraging advice: adopt a community college and teach a class.

Following some more breakout sessions, it was time for the yearly awards luncheon. Several outstanding individuals, Chapters and companies were recognized for their contributions to ISSA and to the profession.

Jake Ross, one recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, exemplified exactly what that meant when accepting the award while still pulling Daddy duty, capturing the hearts of everyone there.

Wrapping it Up

This is only my second year attending the International Conference and already I can’t imagine not attending the next one. Several folks commented on it being the yearly “ISSA Family Reunion” and I couldn’t agree more. When you become involved with ISSA you become part of something bigger than yourself–a community, a family, all dedicated to keeping our online world safe.

Finally, no wrap-up would be complete without a shout-out to Monique dela Cruz, ISSA’s Marketing and Communications Manager (as well as unofficial Cookie Monster), and Leah Lewis, ISSA’s Program Manager. These ladies make things happen.