ISACA’s inaugural CSX Conference took place in Washington, DC on 19-21 October, and it immediately raised the bar for IT security conferences. The hands-on pre-conference workshops and education sessions during the event provided tremendous value and insight into cybersecurity best practices and industry trends. As a young professional, the opportunity to hear from some industry experts and leading figures within the cybersecurity field was exceptionally beneficial.
The conference provided young professionals a chance to network with subject matter experts, vendors from large corporations or cybersecurity startups, as well as our peers. We were able to understand ways in which threats are evolving and the skills needed to keep up with the demands of protecting systems and sensitive information. It was easy to follow the rapid reactions and thoughts of attendees, as they discussed the conference topics on Twitter, as the updates were displayed on monitors throughout the expo hall or conference center.
Students attending the conference expressed enthusiasm about being able to provide direct feedback to ISACA Headquarters regarding the conference format, CSX career paths and volunteer opportunities. For them, a good challenge to have was deciding how to select the best possible session to attend, since there were so many good learning opportunities and speakers in each of the time slots. This only goes to show the depth and value of the education provided.
The CyberLympics competition added a new dynamic to the event. It was very exciting to observe and follow the progress through the second day of the conference. A previous colleague of mine was part of the team that represented Team USA. He felt the team had a complementary set of skills that enabled them to achieve the success they had in the earlier rounds of the competition to get to the finals.
Keynote speaker John Sileo gave a moving presentation on the value of identity theft, privacy and protecting your own personal information. For young professionals who are used to sharing so much on a daily basis, this session really resonated and demonstrated the real-life dangers of social engineering and sharing too much information. It made you think twice.
The conference concluded with a great keynote from Robert Herjavec, owner of the Herjavec Group and regular on the popular TV show, Shark Tank. His perspectives spanned a long entrepreneurial career and he emphasized the importance of cybersecurity professionals in this day and age, as we face such persistent threats from many sources.
Mark your calendars for the CSX Conference next year in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan from 17-19 October. It is an event you do not want to miss.
Jason Yakencheck, CISA, CISM, CISSP-ISSAP
Senior Managing Consultant, Cybersecurity & Privacy, IBM Global Business Services
[ISACA Now Blog]