SANS Announces 13th Holiday Hack Challenge and 2nd KringleCon infosec conference

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Promo Next week, SANS will launch its second annual KringleCon virtual conference followed shortly thereafter by its 13th Holiday Hack Challenge.

KringleCon returns by popular demand, with last year’s inaugural conference viewed more than 87,000 times on YouTube. As such, it’s believed to be one of the largest virtual cybersecurity conferences to date, and SANS hope to welcome even more attendees in 2019. It also has an overarching storyline: last year, an evil hacker locked Santa’s castle, trapping conference attendees inside the building. This year, the hacker is trying to hack KringleCon to stop the event taking place entirely.

You can watch last year’s KringleCon and all previous Holiday Hack Challenges here.

With well over 20,000 people expected to participate worldwide this year, KringleCon and the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge are prime examples of how cybersecurity education can be made fun, and can engage a whole new generation of cyber-professionals as well as advance the skills of established pros. Allowing participants to learn from experts as well as other community members, the Holiday Hack challenges slowly ramp up in difficulty, with hints, talks, and blogs provided that share tactics that people can directly apply in their jobs.

This year’s Holiday Hack Challenge will also include offensive and defensive machine-learning challenges, and SANS has included more defensive training opportunities to engage a broader audience in the infosec community.

With cybersecurity skills in such high demand – The Global Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage to Reach 1.8 Million according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education – it’s important that both industry and governments act to help fill that gap. SANS Institute is addressing this issue head-on by creating compelling and accessible educational offerings to attract a diverse range of people into the profession.

"When Santa invites you to a free hacking conference at the North Pole, you definitely want to be there," said Ed Skoudis, Director of SANS Cyber Ranges and Team-Based Training.

Kringlecon boasts an extensive line-up of speakers, including IBM Security’s Stephanie Carruthers, Black Hills Information Security’s John Strand, Ian Coldwater from Heroku/Salesforce, Dave Kennedy from TrustedSec, and Lesley Carhart from Dragos, to name a few. Many more are still to be announced.

And of course, there are top prizes to win. Holiday Hack Challenge offers a series of awards and valuable educational prizes, ranging from SANS On Demand courses to NetWars Continuous subscriptions, to top participants.

Make sure you follow KringleCon on Twitter to be the first to know about the challenges and KringleCon talks, and to help defeat the evil KringleCon hacker once more!

For more information on SANS and its cyber security training, head here.


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