Conferences are an important part of any industry, and they are especially crucial in the quickly evolving landscape of cybersecurity. No matter what role you have in IT security, there are hundreds of IT security conferences to choose from each year, giving you plenty of options—which can get overwhelming!
That’s why we have compiled this guide: to help you quickly and efficiently find the top IT Security, Information Security, and CyberSecurity conferences of 2020. Whether you are looking for a conference by date, location, or price range, our list provides both national and international options, so you can find exactly what suits your needs.
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Top Security Conferences of 2020
Date: January 13-18, 2020
Location: Miami, FL
SANS Miami 2020 is organized by the SANS Institute, the global leader in information security training. The conference features hands-on cyber security courses taught by the industry’s top professionals and instructors in the field. These courses range in levels from introductory all the way to the most advanced training. The event also offers insightful presentations by keynote speakers and plenty of unique networking opportunities.
The 2020 cybersecurity training courses include:
- Security Essentials, Bootcamp-Style
- Enterprise Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
- Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling
- Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking
- Defeating Advanced Adversaries
- Windows Forensic Analysis
- SANS Training Program for CISSP Certification
- Security Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership
Date: January 21-24, 2020
Location: Santa Monica, CA
AppSec California is an annual conference hosted by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a non-profit organization whose goal is to spread the visibility of software security. The conference offers technical talks by experts in security, DevOps, and cloud; panels to debate tough topics; training sessions; keynotes from industry leaders; and vendor booths.
AppSec California 2020 will feature keynotes by three major players:
- Alex Stamos, cybersecurity and business leader at Stanford University. Previously the CSO for Facebook and CISO for Yahoo.
- Samy Kamkar, privacy and security researcher, computer hacker, whistleblower and entrepreneur. He also created Evercookie, which appeared in a top NSA document revealed by Edward Snowden.
- Eva Galperin, EFF’s Director of Cybersecurity, where her work is primarily focused on providing privacy and security for vulnerable populations around the world.
Date: February 24-28, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
The RSA Conference is one of the largest security conferences in the entire world, with more than 42,000 attendees in 2019 alone. Add to that more than 700 speakers from across the globe, and it’s no wonder this event is one of the largest and most popular in the area of cybersecurity.
The event features relevant topics and resources each year, with tracks in areas such as encryption and national security, Department of Defense perspectives on cyber threats, and hacking, to name a few. Some of the keynotes of the 2020 RSA conference include thought leaders like Dr. Peggy Whitson, Record-Breaking Astronaut, and Tracy Edwards, MBE, Round-the-World Sailor, Author, and Social Activist.
Date: March 18-20, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC
Cost: $1,900-$2,700 CAD
CanSecWest is one of the world’s most advanced technical conferences aimed at applied digital security. The event is a three-day, single-track conference that offers best practices and real-world experiences regarding new vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses, provided in lecture-style presentations by experienced professionals. The information presented and shared is extremely critical, on topics like hacking drones, embedded systems, security software, web hacking techniques, and advanced malware de-obfuscation.
CanSecWest 2020 will feature some of the most significant new discoveries about computer network hack attacks and defenses, commercial security solutions, and pragmatic real-world security experience.
Date: March 30- April 1, 2020
Location: Lake Buena Vista, FL
Cost: $1,795 main conference attendee; $3,695 World conference attendee
InfoSec World has been one of the main “business of security” conferences in the world for 25 years. Bringing together expert speakers, security practitioners, and industry leaders, InfoSec World addresses ways to manage today’s threats to cultivate business while preventing, detecting, and responding to security challenges that arise. The 2020 conference tracks are:
- Security Strategies
- Awareness, Decisions & Devices: The Human Layer of Security
- Secure Design
- Hackers & Threats
- Management & Leadership
- Privacy & Risk
- Infrastructure & Operations
Date: April 20-24, 2020
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cost: €1,199 to €1,599
Held annually in Amsterdam, The Hack in the Box Security Conference is globally recognized for its networking opportunities and its forward-thinking views on computer security issues. Attendees can expect to develop new professional relationships and alliances while learning from some of the top security experts in the industry.
The two-day conference consists of multitrack sessions that cover topics such as:
- Practical machine learning in info security
- Cloning Android HCE cards
- The making of Drammer
- Attacks against ISO crypto libraries
- Keyless entry system attacks
- Hunting for vulnerabilities in Signal
Date: April 28-30, 2020
Location: London, UK
Cost: $399-$1,299 plus 20% UK VAT
The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security Conference is a three-day event that includes multi-track trainings and workshops specifically aimed at operations, control systems, and IT security professionals. The conference is one of the longest-running events with a focus on cybersecurity in the industry, and featured speakers from top global organizations.
Some topics that will be covered at the 2020 event are:
- Protection for SCADA systems
- Plant control systems
- Engineering workstations
- Substation equipment
- Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
- Other field control system devices.
Date: April 28- May 1, 2020
Location: Bethesda, MD
The International Cryptographic Module Conference is designed to bring together global experts in commercial cryptography. ICMC20 will see a large focus on the highly-anticipated FIPS 140-3 standard for cryptographic modules as it becomes effective in late 2020. The conference will survey the new FIPS 140-3 standard, discuss the effect on current certifications, and report on the progress of the Automated Cryptographic Validation Program.
The 2019 ICM conference included a variety of speakers, such as
- Tim Anderson, Program Manager, WWPS Security & Compliance Business Acceleration Team at Amazon
- Debra Baker, Cybersecurity Evangelist at Cisco
- Jeff Blank, Technical Director, Endpoint Solutions for NSA Cybersecurity
- Joshua Brickman, Director, Security Evaluations for Oracle
Date: May 1-3, 2020
Location: Austin, TX
InfoSec Southwest is an information security and hacking conference held annually in Austin, Texas, and it brings together some of the top experts and professionals from the field of information security and hacking disciplines.
The scope of InfoSec Southwest is broad, and it is organized around seminars, e-learning workshops, in-house training sessions, conferences, and executive programs. Past events have covered a wide variety of subjects, including deep dives into the social and legal implications of hacking and how they affect hacker culture.
Date: May 8-9, 2020
Location: Chicago, IL
Cost: $69- $299
ThotCon is an annual conference in Chicago started and held specifically for hackers and the local hacking culture. ThotCon is a small, non-profit event, with an attendance last year of about 1,000 people. In honor of its secretive nature, the specific location of the event is kept confidential until a week before the conference, when it is then released to attendees and speakers alike.
Some of the previous topics covered at ThotCon conferences include: Using, or securing against, the latest hacking methods such as side channels, physics, and low-cost tools; Hacking Python; and Intercepting, modifying, and generating wireless signals with SD.
Date: May 18-20, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Organized by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy has been the premier forum for presenting developments in computer security and electronic privacy for over 40 years.
Past workshop topics have included:
- Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection
- Deep Learning and Security Workshop
- International Workshop on Privacy Engineering
- IEEE Workshop on the Internet of Safe Things
- 4th Workshop on Traffic Measurements for Cybersecurity
Date: June 1-4, 2020
Location: National Harbor, MD
The Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit is one of the largest gatherings for security, risk management, and business continuity management leaders. The 2020 event provides the year’s most valuable information update and networking opportunity for CISOs and security, risk and resilience professionals with a comprehensive update on cybersecurity threats and solutions. It will also include new best practices for cloud security, AI, IoT, blockchain, and DevOps.
The 2020 Gartner conference will cover five comprehensive programs over nine agenda tracks that will dive into security and risk management key priorities and challenges:
- Leadership and Strategy
- Trends and Capabilities
- Risk and Resilience
- Architecture and Operations
- Security Markets
Date: June 2-4, 2020
Location: London, UK
InfoSecurity Europe is the region’s largest and most well attended information security event. The event features Europe’s most comprehensive conference program, with over 360 exhibitors showcasing the newest information security solutions and products to close to 18,000 attendees.
The conference welcomes 400+ of the world’s top suppliers of information security solutions such as Arrow ECS, Symantec, LogRhythm, Varonis, Darktrace, Thales, Cofense, Cisco, Microsoft, Fortinet, Nuvias, Sophos, Tenable, CrowdStrike, and many more.
Date: August 1-6, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Black Hat is one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, providing attendees with the latest research and trends in security. The 2019 event attracted more than 20,000 people, and has become the premier conference for researchers, security experts, vendors, and hackers.
The 2019 Black Hat event featured a keynote by Dino Dai Zovi, the Mobile Security Lead at Square, and covered tracks like:
- Applied security
- Incident response
- Network defense
- Platform security
- Reverse engineering
Date: August 6-9, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Cost: $260, cash only at the door
Another extremely popular event in Las Vegas is DEF CON, one of the oldest and largest security conferences in the world. The conference begins each year when the related Black Hat ends, so the events share many similar topics and themes. DEF CON consists of several tracks of speakers about computer- and hacking-related subjects, as well as cyber-security challenges and competitions, most notably Capture the Flag.
The event features speakers, contests, vendors, workshops, demo labs, and entertainment, not to mention plenty of opportunities to network with the world’s top hackers and potentially get headhunted by government officials: federal law enforcement agents from the FBI, DoD, United States Postal Inspection Service, and other agencies regularly attend DEF CON.
Date: August 12-14, 2020
Location: Boston, MA
Cost: $790- $1,065
The Usenix Security Symposium is a three-day conference that includes more than 80 refereed paper presentations as well as invited talks and various sessions about the latest advances in the security and privacy of computer systems and networks.
The 2019 Usenix Symposium featured keynotes by Alex Stamos (Adjunct Professor, Stanford University; William J. Perry Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation; Fellow, Hoover Institution) and covered tracks like:
- Wireless security
- Protecting users everywhere
- Hardware security
- Machine learning applications
- Mobile security
- Side channels
- Intelligence and vulnerabilities
Date: September 21-23, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA
The ASIS Global Security Exchange has been one of the leading conferences for security professionals worldwide for more than six decades. Organized by ASIS International, this event covers the full spectrum of security topics, with presentations and sessions in areas like data and infrastructure security, cybersecurity, counterterrorism, loss prevention, and facilities security.
The keynote speakers for the 2019 GSX conference included: Ian Bremmer, Ph.D., President, Eurasia Group; Steve Demetriou, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Jacobs; General John F. Kelly, U.S. Marine Corps (RET); and Tarah Wheeler, Cybersecurity Policy Fellow, New America. (Note: the event’s typical schedule has changed this year, so the conference runs from Monday through Wednesday as opposed to the usual Sunday through Thursday of years past.)
Date: September 1-2, 2020
Location: Las Vegas
Cost: Super Early Bird: $495
The Ai4 2020 conference gathers business executives and data practitioners to discuss the facilitation and adoption of artificial intelligence within various industries such as cybersecurity, healthcare, finance, retail, telecom, transportation, energy, and more. With 200+ speakers, 100+ exhibitors, 10+ tracks, 1,500+ attendees, and countless networking opportunities, Ai4 will help you no matter where you are in your AI journey.
Whether you are looking for something small and familiar, or large and exciting, these conferences are guaranteed to bring you closer to some of the biggest experts in the world while providing opportunities to learn about the latest research and to network with other security and IT professionals. It doesn’t matter which of these top IT security, information security, and cybersecurity conferences you choose—you will not be disappointed.
These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.
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