But whether you’re looking to network, exchange knowledge, learn about the newest ideas and technologies or promote your business with customers and vendors, you need to know which cyber security summit and conference to attend.
Fortunately, every year brings a plethora of cybersecurity conferences all over the world, including key events that will suit your intent, expertise and of course, budget. However, it’s not that easy to keep track of all of them—and even more difficult to find a list of all the upcoming conferences you would want to attend in any specific month.
We searched everywhere for a comprehensive list of cybersecurity conferences ourselves, but we just couldn’t find one that was relevant, complete and updated regularly.
That’s why we’ve made our own list of all the security conferences in 2020, detailed in this convenient spreadsheet that you can download and edit, to make it the most complete list you could possibly need.
For now, let’s take a look at the top 10 must-see cybersecurity conferences in 2020.
The top 10 cybersecurity and infosec conferences in 2020
1. DEF CON 28
Date: August 6–9
Location: The New Caesars Forum, Harrah’s, Linq & Flamingo
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
It wasn’t hard to predict that DEF CON would take the number one spot — it’s the most famous and longest-running entry on the list. We also don’t hide our love for DEF CON; we’ve even written about our favorite talks from DEF CON 26. This cyber security event, founded in 1993, brings together amateur and hobby hackers, security researchers and professionals, journalists, government and federal employees and anyone interested in hacking and cybersecurity scene.
DEF CON is a pop culture staple, with numerous workshops and games that take inspiration from pop mainstays likeJeopardy (“Hacker Jeopardy,” which did gather some mixed reviews); there are also legendary CTFs, a Spot the Fed contest and other fun challenges like AI Village, Car Hacking Village and more.
And what can we expect from DEF CON 28? Well, there still aren’t a lot of predictions or scheduled challenges out there, but one rumor making the rounds is that the US Air Force could allow security researchers to try to penetrate and take over an orbiting satellite. So even if you don’t buy into the DEF CON hype, this might be something worth experiencing.
2. Black Hat USA
Date: August 1–6
Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Another cybersecurity conference we frequent, Black Hat Briefings, or simply Black Hat, goes hand in hand with DEF CON as it happens only days leading up to the latter. It’s presented as the more “professional” of the cyber security events and it also has an impressive history; it was founded in 1997.
Black Hat is considered one of the most important security conferences in existence, gathering infosec professionals and experts, hackers, industry leaders, executives and government agencies. As it’s conveniently scheduled during the dates leading up to DEF CON, plenty of talks can be heard at both. Many regard it as the most relevant and global infosec conference there is, featuring high-profile speakers and a distinguished community.
The Black Hat conference held in the USA starts with four days of technical training followed by the two-day main conference comprised ofcomprised of Briefings, Arsenal, Business Hall and more. There are a couple of Black Hat Briefings held elsewhere on the globe, but the USA conference ranks highly in second place on this list for its speakers, content and cutting-edge concepts.
3. Black Hat Asia
New date: September 29 - October 2
Location: Marina Bay Sands Hotel
As an extension to Black Hat USA, the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference held annually in Singapore deserves its own spot on this list. Plenty of experts rush to the Marina Bay Sands to hear the exceptional talks held here, and we’re fortunate to have caught up with one of the attending security professionals, Patrik Hudak, to hear about his experiences and favorite talks from the conference.
There isn’t much early word on the speakers and topics they’ll discuss in 2020, but we know it will be worthwhile. We’re also not limiting our recommendation to people located in Europe or Asia; we encourage anyone else who’s interested to visit this installation of Black Hat Briefings, for a chance to learn more about the current state of cybersecurity.
4. RSA Conference
Date: February 24–28
Location: Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA, USA
The RSA Conference is an annual event focused on helping improve cybersecurity awareness and cybersecurity culture in companies, and similarly expanding this knowledge in individuals across the globe.
It’s the largest cybersecurity conference in the world and it has been for over 30 years. Each year, tens of thousands of people from every industry travel to the RSAC, to learn about cybersecurity design or to network with one of the many vendors in attendance.
Significantly, the RSA Conference and its speakers share a mission of urging businesses to make proactive cybersecurity decisions. Because of the numerous different areas of expertise represented by its attendees, it’s an amazing opportunity to network with peers and vendors. It’s a must-see in our book.
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5. BSides Series
Some events have been cancelled, postponed and some will be virtual conferences. Check our sheet for more detailed information on new dates
Date: Throughout the year
BSides Security, or BSides, came to life due to the high number of individuals and organizations who have wanted to participate in Black Hat Briefings but couldn’t conceivably be accommodated. When all the talks that weren’t accepted were presented to smaller groups, the BSides Series was born.
This cyber security summit is held in many different locations around the world as a one or two-day event, so regardless of your location, there will be a BSides security conference you can attend. This is a more community-driven conference than the others, always open to new organizers who are willing to bring this event to their location. Because of its community, BSides allows security professionals to meet in a more informal and intimate environment and gives many individuals the opportunity to present their ideas and findings. The discussion and talks give the audience a chance to engage with speakers more readily than they could at the more renowned conferences, giving the event a comfortable, close-knit feel.
Location: Print Media Academy
This security conference is based in beautiful Heidelberg, Germany, and for us, merely visiting the city would be enough of a reason to check out TROOPERS. As luck would have it, this valuable conference consists of two-day training and a two-day conference where many IT and security experts from all over the world gather to discuss current topics relating to IoT, IPv6 security, and general IT security.
One of the main focuses of TROOPERS is that their interest lies not in product marketing and meeting vendors but in tackling the industry’s burning security questions. For this reason (and for Heidelberg), we find this IT conference well worth attending, if not only to network with some of the best cybersecurity experts in Europe.
7. SANS Series
Some events have been cancelled and other rescheduled. Check our sheet for detailed information on new dates
Date: Throughout the year
The SANS Series is sponsored by the SANS Institute and holds numerous events all over the world.. It’s devoted to presenting hands-on infosec training, case studies and certificates and is led by leading security professionals.
This cyber security summit allows you to network with other security professionals, expand your knowledge and skills in the industry, discuss new technologies and tools — and leave with a certificate on top of it. The insights provided in the SANS Series will be of a practical nature—you’ll learn about new tools you can actually utilize in your job or company, and it’s based on real-world experiences. SANS doesn’t waste your time with fluff topics; the talks and content are packed with relevant examples and situations.
Date: January 31 – February 2
Location: Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, DC, USA
ShmooCon was founded by the Shmoo Group, the organization responsible for Linux Apache, OpenSSL, Snort, PGP and even the DEF CON contest Capture the Capture the Flag. This long-running and popular hacker conference is held annually and features over 30 security-focused presentations that tackle security topics regarding new ways of exploitation, innovative software and hardware solutions and important cybersecurity questions.
ShmooCon is a highly inclusive conference. The organizers focus on presenters who don’t appear at other conferences, giving them a forum to share their ideas and findings, and the topics presented are likewise unique. In fact, one of SchmooCon’s biggest draws is that you can learn about cutting-edge security solutions that you haven’t already heard about, over and over, elsewhere.
All this important content has one drawback, though: due to its substantial value offered at a relatively low price, ShmooCon is quickly sold out.
New Date: September 11-12
Location: Undisclosed location
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Due to its non-profit and non-commercial nature, THOTCON is a very affordable security conference that has a significant twist: the Chicago venue is not announced until the week leading up to the event (it’s top secret actually). The topics discussed at THOTCON range from IoT, intel gathering, medical devices, UI, industrial control systems and more.
It might not be the most famous entry on the list, but the casual feel and relaxed environment in which you can “hang out” with other security professionals and hackers make this IT conference a truly singular experience.
Date: March 3–7
Location: Vainguinim Beach, Panaji,
Let’s journey once again, far from the US and Europe—for with this conference, we’ll be visiting India. This event is an amazing opportunity for everyone in this region as well as visitors from all over the world, a chance to participate in a truly memorable gathering and well, see Goa!
Nullcon is a place to exchange knowledge about new technologies and vulnerabilities, where you can test your knowledge in a hacking event called “Desi Jugaad” which invites you to compete with other professionals in solving real-life hacking challenges.
Another plus of Nullcon is that all presentations are made available online, so even if you’re not able to attend in person you can be a virtual presence supporting this key learning and networking event.
With so many of them taking place, we hope that our list of cyber security events helps you prioritize the ones you’ll attend in 2020. Also, make sure to download our list, which we’re updating regularly with new entries and locations as information becomes available.
Thanks to your help, we’ll be able to develop the most complete and comprehensive list of all the cybersecurity conferences out there.
Did you notice any conferences that are missing? Feel free to update our list or send your suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org