Cyber Security Meetups & Communities In Utah

Salt Lake City has a well-coordinated professional scene for cyber security. Joining any of the groups below should put you in contact with members from the others. Plus, the city has its own hackerspace, 801 Labs, that specializes in information security. See its calendar for upcoming events.

  • DC801: Salt Lake City’s DEF CON group created 801 Labs, where it meets the third Thursday of the month. In addition to having casual conversations about information security, individuals occasionally put on classes for fellow group members. Past events include a digital first responder training and a locksport night for those intrigued by physical security.
  • ISACA Utah Chapter: ISACA members dine at Fleming’s in SLC every third Thursday of the month. Additionally, members can attend seminars that help them work toward advanced certification. ISACA, formerly the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, gives discounted membership to students.
  • ISSA Utah Chapter: Salt Lake City members of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) congregate four to eight times a year to network and learn. A typical annual calendar features half-day spring and fall seminars co-sponsored by ISACA, plus a holiday luncheon. Most events feature one or more guest speakers. Like ISACA, ISSA offers discounted student memberships.
  • OWASP Salt Lake Chapter: Members of the nonprofit Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) are interested in exactly that: web application security. They meet nearly every first Thursday of the month at 801 Labs, often in conjunction with UtahSec (see below). Expect a couple of hours of talks on issues ranging from firewalls to security verification standards. All meetings are free to attend.
  • UtahSAINT: To become a member of UtahSAINT, a professional organization focused on network security, you’ll need a recommendation from two members. Once in, you’ll be able to do more than attend meetings. Members use their technical expertise on projects and have created their own netflow security tool, website display rotator and visual performance tool.
  • UtahSec: UtahSec brings all the above groups, plus others (e.g., the certificate-minded (ISC)2 Salt Lake City Chapter) together under one roof the first Thursday of the month. It capitalizes on the expertise of members, so OWASP might come and present on application security verification standards one month while the DC801 crew might demo IoT security tools the next. Best of all: No membership required.

Cyber Security Conferences & Workshops In Utah

Utah has a packed calendar of cyber security conferences and workshops, which vary in price, formality and purpose. Here are seven to register for:

  • BSides SLC: BSides events are locally organized information security conferences that are cheap or even free to attend. The idea is to put people in a room together, have a practitioner present on a topic s/he finds interesting and let the idea flower in unexpected new ways. To catch up on the last several years of BSides SLC presentations, check out the group’s YouTube channel.
  • Hack West: Once upon a time, BSidesSLC got so large that it was no longer “community-driven.” So the organizers decided to branch off and create a separate event, Hack West. The idea is the same, but the scale is larger. Starting in 2018, Hack West will become a three-day annual spring tradition.
  • Red Sky IT Security Conference: Red Sky Solutions, a security consulting firm in Sandy, organizes a one-day affair aimed at company IT managers. The schedule promises four tracks of corporate speakers from the Western US who, between them, cover topics related to cloud, network endpoint, app, IoT and social media security. The price is affordable thanks to vendor sponsorship.
  • SAINTCON: Organized by UtahSAINT, SAINTCON is an October event that incorporates all the usual speakers alongside half-day seminars and workshops for beginners as well as full-day trainings on advanced infosec topics.
  • Salt Lake City Tech-Security Conference: This Data Connectors-sponsored event pitches tent in Salt Lake once a year to promote the latest software and hardware. Spend a free day roaming the rows of vendors and/or pop in to a few of the sponsored sessions.
  • SANS Salt Lake City: SANS Institute sells weeklong trainings to those who might otherwise take a semester-long course. Teachers come to SLC once a year sporting a catalog of courses that lead to technical certification – from security essentials to strategic planning.