3:50 PM -- If you've already heard of SEASEC, BeanSec, NYSEC, NoVASEC, or ChiSec, then you'll get the significance of BaySec, the latest in a series of informal security professional "meetups" -- a movement that is quietly spreading across major cities around the country.
These vendor-neutral meetings have no official sponsor, and they convene in downtown bars, where all you have to pay for is your beer and appetizers -- no commitment, card-carrying, or dues-paying required here. The idea is to provide local security folk a place to meet and greet, or network. BaySec holds its first get-together on May 16 at Zeitgeist, a trendy bar in San Francisco.
"The 'citycsec movement' provides a neutral, non-vendory, free place for security people to just show up and meet the locals in their community," says Thomas Ptacek, a security researcher with Matasano Security and a participant in the Chicago-based ChiSec.
People just show up. Someone in the group reserves space in a local joint, posts an announcement, builds an email mailing list, and the gatherings begin. Chicago has the largest meetings, and New York is next in line. "We'd like other people to start similar gatherings in their cities," Ptacek says. "We'll host little Websites and mailing lists for them."
Why attend an after-hours meeting? BaySec's Web announcement says this: "It fills a gap. In other cities, there are regular professional meetups. We're less formal than ISSA. Nobody takes minutes. We just try to get to know the locals in our field."
It's also a good job-hunting tool: Ptacek says plenty of people have landed jobs via these CitySec meetings.
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading