Austin Security Community

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.

One of the tech centers of the south, Austin is home to many security professionals who “keep Austin weird”. As such, it comes as no surprise that there are several local professional groups that are helping the infosec community grow in the capital of Texas.

  • OWASP Austin Local Chapter – The host of the upcoming LASCON 2010, the Austin chapter holds regular meetings every 3rd Thursday of the month at Sherlock’s. You can view the presentation archives or join the mailing list.
  • Austin ISSA – The monthly meetings of this ISSA chapter are held every 3rd Thursday of the month at their new location at the Microsoft Technology Center. You can view their calendar of events or review past meetings.
  • ISACA – Austin Chapter – This chapter is the base for over 200 ISACA members in Austin. You can contact them for more information and view past newsletters.
  • InfraGard Central Texas Members Alliance – This FBI-backed group is a network of security specialists from the private sector and government agencies that work together to gather information and safeguard the national infrastructure. Meetings are every second Thursday of the month at Signature Science. Join here or check out a few of the past meetings.
  • AITP Austin – A focal point of the Austin IT community, this chapter has been serving the Central Texas professional scene since 1954.

Here are also a few local meetings being held in the area.

  • DC512 – Founded in 2004, you can contact mage2 for more info about this group.
  • ATX-2600 – War driving, phreaking and social engineering. These are just some of the crafty activities you can do in this group. It does take a lot of insider info to get in though but if you have what it takes, just join up here.
  • Austin 2600 – Meets every first Friday of the Month at SpiderHouse. Their website is awesome, by the way.
  • AHA! – Yes, the exclamation point is part of the name. It’s probably the largest group if loosely-affiliated security pros in the Austin area. Meets are around every last Wednesday of every month. Check out the members or visit the site to see the past meetings.
  • Computer Academic Underground – Here’s another group for you (not sure if they are active though), which does regular speaking engagements all over the Dallas-Austin area. Read their blog.
  • CitySec Austin – Haven’t found their website or if they even meet anymore. Last we heard is that they meet every third Thursday at the Berryhill Baja Grill. If anyone has info of them, let us know.
  • Dorkbot Austin – It’s a regular meeting of artists, hackers and more. If you want to find out where they meet just tune in here.

There are also a few hackerspaces to help with your tinkering.

  • Conjunctured – The very first coworking space in Austin and it’s pretty booked but you can put yourself on the waiting list. Come and enjoy their executive suite amenities including a kitchenette, high speed wireless internet and your own conference room. Check out photos here.
  • ATX Hackerspace – This space has a great motto: “Make a difference , be excellent to each other.” participate in some awesome workshops and projects at their site at Rutherford Lane. Interested? Be a member here or browse the photo gallery.
  • ACTLab – Located in the University of Texas in Austin, this one of the oldest spaces in Texas – even before the term hackerspace was coined. Their prime directive: Make Stuff! That pretty much sums up what you should be doing when in this place. Know the ins and outs through their listserv.

Finally, we have a list of security events you might want to be part of when in the Austin area.

  • CONSEC – An executive gathering for security professionals, this event is focused more on the business side of the infosec coin. C-level executives should come over to the Norris Conference Center on September 27 – 29.
  • TRISC – A two-day conference that aims to inform people on the information security industry. Don’t worry, you have quite some time to prepare as the next one is in July 2011 here in our lovely city.
  • BSides Austin – The last event was held in the Norris Conference Center, same as CONSEC. Since this just finished a couple of months ago, expect the next one in 2011 for your fill of BSides fun.
  • LASCON – Lastly, OWASP’s  Lonestar Appsec Conference  will be held in, you guessed it, Norris Conference Center on the 29th of October. Register here.

That list should serve nicely to satisfy your Austin meetup cravings as well as whet your infosec events appetite. Let us know in the comments other places you or security professionals you know like to meet and hang out.

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