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Security Awareness Summit - Live Online

Virtual, US Central | Tue, Dec 1 - Tue, Dec 8, 2020

Due to high demand, we have added another MGT433 on Dec 7th - 8th. Click here to view details and register.

Using the SANS Security Awareness Summit
Slack Workspace

Welcome to the SANS Security Awareness Summit Slack workspace guide!

We will be using Slack to communicate throughout the Summit. Please note that you will receive the invitation link one hour prior to the Summit on December 3.

In the meantime, please take a moment to review the Get Started section below for information how to set up your account. If you have not used Slack before or if you would like a refresher, please feel free to continue reading below that for a list of tips and tricks to using Slack.

**All interaction and content posted to Slack must follow our Code of Conduct (pinned in the #announcements channel for easy reference). Any violation will result in an immediate ban from the Slack workspace. If you have a concern about a potential violation of the Code of Conduct, please reach out to SANS and the Advisory Board through our #report-issue channel - simply post a message that you have a concern and someone will reach out to you privately via direct message (DM).

Watch this video for a quick guide on joining the Security Awareness Summit Slack workspace:

Quick Definitions


A Slack workspace is the entire shared hub made up of channels where we’ll connect and interact with each other. Note that the SANS Security Awareness Summit workspace is its own workspace - you will not be able to integrate this with other Slack workspaces, including a work one.


A channel is a single place for us to share messages, tools, and files. In Slack, teamwork and communication happen in channels.

Getting Started

  1. Choose to use Slack within your browser or by downloading the desktop and/or mobile app version. It’s recommended that first-time users try the browser option, but note that Slack in the browser does not operate well with Internet Explorer (Chrome or Firefox browsers work well) or, occasionally, corporate VPNs. You can choose to receive notifications by using the desktop and mobile app versions.

  2. Please post your full name (first and last/family name) and your company as your display name. Ex: Lance Spitzner (SANS Institute)

    1. Click on SANS Security Awareness Summit at top left

    2. Click on View profile

    3. Click on Edit profile

    4. Type your full name and company in Display name

  3. Add your picture to your profile.

  4. Check the #announcements channel for Summit updates (note this is a read-only channel)

  5. Read through a few tips below, but for an in-depth guide to getting started with Slack, please review Slack’s Getting Started page.


We have several public channels available in which attendees can participate. You will automatically be added to #announcements (again, this is our read-only announcement channel for the Summit), but you will need to join any other channels you wish to participate in. Channels include but are not limited to:

  • #hallway-meetups for following up with speakers after their presentations
  • #report-issue to report any potential violations of the Code of Conduct

You may browse channels to join by clicking on the + next to the Channels title on the left hand nav bar, then clicking Browse Channels.

You will not be able to create public channels; however, you may choose to create a private channel just for members of your company by clicking on the + next to the Channels section on the left hand nav bar, then selecting Create a channel; you will need to ensure the channel is marked as Make private when you create the channel.

Please note that all channels, including channels you create, are expected to abide by the SANS Code of Conduct that you received automatically when you joined the workspace. You may also contact SANS and the Advisory Board through our #report-issue channel - simply message us that you have a concern and someone will reach out to you privately via direct message (DM).

Other Slack Tips


Within each channel, you will see messages appear. If you want to respond to a message, use a “thread” as illustrated below to contain the conversation within the message. This keeps the channel from becoming overwhelmed and reduces notifications for participants who may not want to engage on that particular topic.

To reply in thread, hover over the message, then click the chat bubble that appears:

Once you respond in the thread, you’ll be able to see your reply within the thread.

You’ll also be able to see if anyone has responded via a thread, and can view the thread by clicking on View thread:

You can also view all responses to a message you’ve commented on by clicking Threads in the navigation bar.

Direct messages

You have the ability to send direct messages to other attendees via the Direct messages section. Please refrain from sending direct messages to speakers (we have over a thousand participants and we don’t want to overwhelm them!). Direct messages also fall under the purview of our Code of Conduct.

Pinned posts

You can easily see any pinned posts (priority posts and/or posts that have long-term relevance) by clicking on the pushpin at the top of each channel under the channel title.


We have an integrated Slack automated feature called Slackbot where you can get your FAQs answered easily. Slackbot will automatically monitor for specific keywords and common questions related to the Summit and respond to you directly.


You may notice attendees who post emojis in their messages or see small emojis in reaction to a post. This is one of the most fun parts about Slack! Try it out: Emojis are available via the little smiley in the formatting bar, which includes a search bar. You may also type in a shortcut code where the emoji tag is housed within colons within your message; for example:

:coffee: = :coffee:

:fearless-leader: = :fearless-leader:


We have a specific app embedded into our workspace called “giphy”, which allows you to send gifs within our Slack workspace. You can search for gifs to include by typing /giphy and your search term. You can find one you want by clicking shuffle to sort through options, and you will be the only one who sees the results until you click send. You can also hit cancel to not post a gif after all.