Stacy Thayer is the Founder and Executive Director of SOURCE Conferences. Prior to founding SOURCE Conferences, Stacy was employed for a Fortune 500 company, where she worked with other organizations to examine best practices in professional development and training. In this interview she discusses SOURCE Barcelona.
Have you made any conceptual changes for this year’s edition of the conference?
We are still focusing on security technology and business practices, but this year we have a few talks (William Beer, Chris Nickerson, Andrew Hay, and Vincenzo Iozzo) who are really focusing on the relationship between technology and business.
This year, we’ve really sharpened our focus toward delivering -actionable- material: live demonstrations and new releases. Theory, while good, doesn’t pay the bills. Security experts need broad experience in many fields in order to succeed.
From CSO-level functional techniques to raw exploitation techniques for whole frameworks, we’re really aiming for material that fills in the knowledge gaps for even the most advanced professionals.
SOURCE Barcelona is held in an unusual venue: the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Judging from the pictures from last year’s edition of the conference and the limited number of attendees at each session, the entire even had more of a “university lecture” kind of feel. Do you allow for enough time for a in-depth discussion to develop?
We selected the venue because the MNAC is an amazing museum on top of Montjuic with a view of the entire city of Barcelona, the surrounding mountains, and the ocean. It is one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. We wanted to select a venue that was different from a generic hotel and the MNAC was everything we wanted. They have two lecture halls that we use for our talks, so that probably explains the ‘university lecture’ kind of feel. However, the museum itself is anything but that. It’s more about going outside during a break and seeing the entire city spread out below you while you listen to the different street performers and sip your coffee or tea. There really is nothing like it.
Last year we had about 80 attendees, which was just right for our first year in Barcelona. We prefer events with less people but more opportunities for in-depth discussions, networking, and sharing of ideas.
It’s something we strongly encourage and do our best to provide opportunities for people to connect. I recently attended a smaller security event and really appreciated an environment that people don’t get lost in.
Have you finalized the list of speakers and sessions? Any highlight you care to mention?
Yes, we recently finalized the speaker line-up and we have a number of sessions that I am really excited about. In addition to the ones I mentioned before, we also have an anti-virus discussion/workshop, Barnaby Jack is speaking about ATM Machines, Philippe Langlois is speaking about phone systems, and Iftach Ian Amit is going to be taking his popular cyber [Crime] War talk and tailoring it to focus on Spain and issues of cybercrime in Spain. I am excited about all of talks this year. It’s going to be a great event with a lot of interesting topics and discussions. We’re no strangers to controversial topics either.
- Holding up the teardown of Automated Teller Machines
- Spreading the gospel of privacy and anonymity with Tor
- Teaching the right way to Security in the SDLC
- Tearing apart the cloud, and putting it back together
- Calling out the noise in the anti-virus industry to find what really works.
We’re committed to our community, our speakers, and the growth of our attendees. Coming to SOURCE gives you access to the best of the best.
How come do the BruCON attendees get a 50% off registration for SOURCE Barcelona? Are the two conferences affiliated?
We always hold SOURCE Barcelona shortly before La Merce festival so some people can stay in Spain and attend the festival. Unfortunately, this meant we were close to overlapping with BruCON last year. However, by working together, we can schedule everything so attendees who are coming from out of the country can attend both events. I know that if I am going on a long flight, I would prefer to go to 2 or 3 events instead of just one.