Each week, we’ll highlight a major city in the US and cover the places and events you can go to in that area to get your security information fix. This post is part of the information security communities.

People of the world probably know Houston as the location of NASA’s Mission Control Center. It’s also the control center of many local professional groups dedicated to the craft of information security.

  • OWASP Houston Local Chapter – Like many OWASP Chapters, this one is free to join and more than welcome to present. Meetings are held every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Peruse the mailing list of hit the link above for past presentations.
  • ISSA-Texas Gulf Coast Chapter – If you’ve been looking for an ISSA Chapter in Houston, this is it. The TXGC Chapter meets near the Johnson Space Center and covers professionals in the Houston Clear Lake and Metro Area. Join here.
  • ISACA Greater Houston Chapter – With around 1,000 members, this ISACA chapter is celebrating Cloud Computing Month and has a luncheon meeting for it slated for September 16. Browse the chapter’s past presentations and newsletter archives for more info.
  • NAISG Houston Chapter – Meetings for this chapter are every first Monday of the month at the Houston Microsoft offices. See a couple of their old presentations here.
  • InfraGard Houston – This is a public-private group whose aim is to protect the national infrastructure. View the calendar for the group here.
  • Houston AITP – For more mainstream computing get-togethers, this AITP chapter is the one for you. Next meet is on Sept 21.

Feel like a less-professional group is for you? Here’s a few local meetings you can go to instead.

  • Houston 2600 – This group meets every first Friday of the month at the Galleria Area. Click the link for more info on what they are up to.
  • HAQR – A tribe of the American Nihilist Underground Society, this technology arm encourages design-oriented thinking and learning of philosophical frameworks. They meet at around the same time and place as Houston 2600.
  • HAHA! – Also known as the Houston Area Hackers Anonymous, this group is a spawn of the Austin Hackers Association. There’s no website for the group but you can contact Mike. They meet at Texadelphia in the Galleria.

For hardware hacking, nothing compares to having a space to break stuff apart (or put stuff together if that’s your drift. Here are a couple of those hackerspaces.

  • TX/RX Labs – The first hackerspace to be founded in the Houston Metro area. Get to tinker with 3D printing, lockpicking and other cool stuff here. Open house is held on Fridays at 8.
  • IdeaVault OPENLab – While this lab is not yet opened, they guarantee to be the most unique hackerspace you will find and will be at a location that’s a mix of the off-road and urban settings. Email them for more info.

Of course, you should never miss out on the security events happening around Houston.

  • HouSecCon – This event will be held at the Microsoft offices and is hosted by NAISG. It offers two tracks for conference goers. November 4 is the date to remember for this security conference.
  • ISA Expo – While not solely focused on security, ISA is a great expo to attend due to its great technology exchanges.
  • SecureWorld Expo – One of many such events in the country, this conference brings together members from the different security groups under one roof. Take part in vendor sessions, round table discussions and conference contests.

Houston might not be top of mind when it comes to security events, gatherings and associations but it sure has a lot to offer. If you’ve got any more groups you would like added, feel free to put them in the comments below.