Tag Archives: budgets

Budgeting season

Surprisingly many companies lock down their next year’s budgets already in Q3. While many of our attendees have negotiated conference and training costs to be part of their annual non-negotiable compensation package, there are also those who rely on the good graces of financial overlords to okay their attendance. This post is to remind that it’s yet again time to have the discussion about t2’18 – after all, it’s the 15th anniversary.

Why do we pester our readers with this? As Thomas Lim finely stated it in his keynote at Infiltrate 2012:

“[..] Conferences don’t really make a lot of money, unless you’re Black Hat [..]”

In many years, the question of making a small profit to guarantee enough liquidity for organizing the next event comes down to having the right sponsors. No sane person would enter a business with this kind of a risk/reward ratio. The talk is filled with other gems as well, and it’s definitely worth watching.

The reasons for organizing are elsewhere, namely you want to give back to the community, love the atmosphere of a small event and want to see world class security presentations in your home country. The volunteer work behind the scenes only works when you focus on high quality and networking – it also helps getting repeat guests who value the effort put into curating the program, and setting the stage for making new friends. A considerable part of the audience comes from outside Finland, and it’s certainly not thanks to the weather.

To summarize some of our core values:

  • Networking is an integral part of the event
  • We focus on new research and technical aspects of information security
  • We never sell or give out the attendance list
  • Sponsorship does not give you a speaking slot or influence on the agenda, only CFP does

If you are interested in sponsoring t2, we are glad to discuss your exact needs. Please get in contact with us.

Carry on tradition

Having recently returned from the warmer parts of EMEA, where nights are warm and days even warmer, the importance of having friends and making new ones seems somehow topical. Global and regional geopolitics get a new meaning, when you can enjoy pleasant discussions with people having a local insight. The often-repeated-cliché of travel widening your horizons certainly holds true, but only if you get away from hotel and airport lounges to spend enough time in one place to really soak in the surroundings.

Historically, Helsinki has been the host city for all kinds of talks, and in many ways, t2 follows those traditions. We cater to an all-encompassing audience, where everybody is welcome regardless of a funny hat they might wear. One person’s ethical choice is another’s livelihood, and yesterday’s break-up/bankruptcy/allsafe is today’s comeback tour/hottest startup/evilcorp.

Just like a good foothold inside a Jenkins server gives you the keys to the kingdom, allocating an annual training budget for t2 is a good investment, if you prefer meeting fantastic people, exchanging intel^H^H^H^H^Hknowledge, and learning from world class research. This year there are also other interesting opportunities around t2 in Helsinki – a sauna day opening the doors of private homes for sauna visits and a whole event dedicated just to salty liquorice.

What more could you ask from an infosec conference?

ps. Don’t forget to include lobby bar expenses in your training cost estimates!

99 problems but a free ticket ain't one

Three and half weeks until t2’15. We’re sold out but we didn’t sell out. The hard limit of 99 attendees is the corner stone of the conference and come hell or high water, it’s here to stay.

It’s also the reason we think now is a good time to remind those who plan on attending t2’16 to sneak those figures into next year’s budget. After that, it’s just a case of “We had this discussion last October” and “Our training budget accounts for t2, lobby bar and/or random 0day”. Some of the more veteran attendees have taken this a step further and just labeled the cost as threat intel. After all, it’s the one budget category where you can pour in money and nobody questions the spending or the results.

Speaking of money, we’d like to see Lester Freamon’s take on attribution when it comes to those annoyingly pedestrian toolkits.