Security Awareness Summit Aug 2016

The 3rd annual Security Awareness Summit is over and I'm still attempting to digest all the amazing information.  The summit included 17 speakers (10 of which were lightening talks), video wars, show-n-tell, a group case study and numerous networking events. You can download all the slides and handouts from the event at the summit archives site.  In addition, mark your calendars as we have already scheduled next year's summit to be held 2/3 August in Nashville, TN. Here are just a few of my favorite highlights from this year's intense two day event.

  • As always we started with Andrew Huddart from Bank of England who reviewed the Chatham House rules, which every awareness summit follows. We do this to encourage as much dialogue and sharing as possible between attendees.
  • Adding a second day to the summit was a huge win.  Twice the learning and interaction.  I can't believe how much networking and sharing people did, it was amazing!  Every time we add new ways for others to meet and interact, we keep getting feedback for more.  The pre-social the night before and the introduction sessions at the beginning of each day were new features we will be keeping.
  • Video wars was a massive hit,  it is impressive how professional security awareness videos are becoming.  Video wars is when attendees bring and share their own security awareness videos that they or their organization created.  The character Edna from CDK Global took first prize at this year's event.  The Edna one minute videos were both serious and funny at the same time, with each video focusing on one specific behavior. Next year we will be expanding video wars by hosting two competitions, one for big budget videos and another for small budget videos.
  • I was really impressed with our 7 main speakers this year, they really raised their game.  All seven of our speakers scored a 4.5 or greater on a 5 point scale for this event, something we have never seen before.  Instead of going in detail on each of the talks I recommend you download the slides and review them yourself.   The talks were not recorded as we want to provide an environment where speakers can share as openly as possible.
  • Lightening talks were a intense way to cover different topics from 10 different awareness officers.  Once again, another new permanent feature of future summits.  Top lightening talks included Nastassia Tamari's talk on Creating an InfoSec Character, Cathy Clicks talk on Building Security Awareness Events and Deana Elizondo's talk on From Ambassadors & Champions to Security Partners of the Month for one of the largest utilities in America.
  • The Kindred Care case study was a great chance for people to study and analyze a real security awareness program as a group.  We will be doing case studies next year, but with some tweaks as we got great suggestions how to make it even better.  Some of you were doing the math at just how much that group think advice would have cost coming from a Big 4 consulting agency.  Long story short - alot.
  • Shouts out to Lori Rosenberg from Intuit for helping organize the team dinners in the evening.
  • Show-n-tell was continues to grow stronger, with over 20 attendees sharing and displaying items from their awareness program.  Bridget Brown from RGA Reinsurance Company won first prize for her items.  One of my favorite items was Tank the Armadillo, who by the way makes an amazing stuffed animal.

Some of my favorite quotes from this year's event.

  • Fantastic! So many great ideas. Valuable networking opportunity. Reinvigorating passion for awareness. - Heather B.
  • One word, Awesome! - Randy P.
  • Thank you so much for these wonderful summits. I get great value! I love the SANS community. These are wonderful speakers. - Angela K.

To learn more about upcoming summits, webcasts and training opportunities check out our upcoming events page.