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CanSecWest 2020

The 21st annual CanSecWest conference will be held March 18-20, 2020 at the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

For the info about Pwn2Own, please check here.

Registration is available: here.

Interact with the security community

CanSecWest, the world's most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security, is about bringing the industry luminaries together in a relaxed environment which promotes collaboration and social networking. The conference lasts for three days and features a single track of thought provoking presentations, each prepared by an experienced professional and talented educator who is at the cutting edge of his or her field. We give preference to new and innovative material, highlighting important, emergent technologies, techniques, or best industry practices.

The conference is single track, with one hour presentations over the duration beginning at 9:00 a.m. The registration fee includes the catered meals, and there will be a vendor display and lounge/eating area, where wireless internet access will be available (as well as in the speaking theater).

2020-03-09-10:00:00 COVID-19 Precautions

So CanSecWest is coming up soon.

We've been watching the recent developments carefully, and working to put in several new features we have never tried before and are changing some aspects dramatically. Bear with us, we are shooting from the hip too, and all in all, we think we've been able to scrape up a pretty good response with a dynamic situation. Folks say the key to leadership in situations like these is rapid, clear, information dissemination, and calm, logical preparations. So here is what's going on....

We've put in a full virtualization team, and are drastically adjusting some parameters, read on.... If this is the new normal for the next while, we intend to make this experience as close to a model of reduced risk social group interactions as we can.

At the end of the day I think the folks we get at our conferences are some of the most responsible and intelligent folks on the planet, and if there is any group I would trust with the social awareness to show the responsibility to stay back and self-isolate if they have any inkling of symptoms, fever, cough, even a runny nose, it's the infosec community that attends our conferences. One of the reasons we do what we do is because the folks we interact with in our community really are some of the world's finest and most competent whom we rely on in positions of trust. The percentages of folks who are really asymptomatic is, contrary to some fearful exclamations, very low, around 1% by all the data published so far. In any cases where there was any asymptomatic transmission, the folks involved did eventually see symptoms. New data suggests that the median symptom onset (50%) is 5.1 days (with over 97% at less than 11 days, and almost all by 14 days), and nearly all of the cases include fever as a primary symptom. So monitoring those is crucial as we see it, and are putting in IR camera temperature monitoring, and stringent requests of attendees to redouble caution and withdrawal in case of _any_ illness. All our desks will have IR thermometers in case of any doubts available for checks.

We will have masks, hand sanitizer stations, and sanitizer bottles (but still recommend hand washing frequently as preferrable), as well as alcohol wipes for attendees for their own area sanitization. We will recommend that masks be the default at conference activities, and will have a keynote on proper sanitization, and mask use and safe removal and disposal from a registered nurse.

That said, we will however implement a different kind of conference this year as a dynamic response:

At this time we still see the overall risk in Canada of transmission as low. Canada has been agressively testing, and overall rapid ramp up of testing IMHO seems to be the key to containment. China has managed this quite well. The Korean rapid roll-out of testing seems to be also paying off as their numbers of new cases continue to decline. The situation in BC is still low risk - the only case of concern at the moment is a single one (with likely multiple case fallout expected amongst other residents and staff there) of seniors at the Lynn Valley center in North Vancouver - which is still being traced since it was announced on Thursday of last week. Mindful of earlier SARS experience, BC has implemented agressive contact tracing and readily available testing at all the handful of outbreaks, and has so far been successful at avoiding unconstrained spreading.

We have arranged some RT-PCR testing should it become necessary, or optionally desireable by any attendees, at a medical clinic next to the hotel for any verification, but have switched the presenter we were concerned about before to a remote presentation to further minimize the risk.

As usual we continue monitoring the situation closely, and reacting dynamically as necessary, and hold cautious hopes for better news for everyone from the trials of remdesivir and camostat. We also advise folks to consider how to best isolate any at risk elderly male smokers or ex-smokers.

Clean hands, masks on, open hearts, and we will all do our best to persevere even in adversity.