This post is part of the information security communities project.

Hey everyone!

My Name is Steven McGrath, and as a security professional local to the Chicago area, I thought it would be best to share a list of events that I am familiar with in the area:

  • Chicago 2600 – Chicago 2600 is an informal gathering of security professionals, hackers, phreaks, computer enthusiasts, gamers, and the list goes on.   Technical discussions normally happen on a monthly basis as well as a lot of socializing.  The group is very informal and there is a diverse mix of people from young to old, highly technical to still learning.
  • ChiSec – An informal meetup of information security professionals in Chicago. Unlike other meetups, you will not be expected to pay dues, "join up", or present a zero-day exploit to attend.
  • Chicago Snort User’s Group – ChiSNORT is a user group for snort and security professionals.  With a highly technical crowd in everything from big business to non-profits, there is a diverse crowd of people that are more than willing to learn, help, and inform people about information security and SNORT specifically.
  • ISACA Chicago – The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) is a professional association of individuals interested in information systems audit, control and security.
  • ISSA Chicago – The mission of the Chicago Chapter is to offer a stimulating combination of discussion forums, hands-on learning, CISSP certification training, conferences, and other events which are designed to enhance understanding and awareness of information security issues for information security professionals.
  • OWASP Chicago – The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a worldwide free and open community focused on improving the security of application software. Our mission is to make application security "visible," so that people and organizations can make informed decisions about application security risks. Everyone is free to participate in OWASP and all of our materials are available under an open source license.

These are just a few of the security-related event in the area.  With many of them recurring on a monthly basis, there is plenty of opportunities to occupy your free time socializing with a large number of security professionals.  Every group mentioned also has an open, welcoming atmosphere and a diverse range of security professionals, from government to private sector to nonprofit.