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Would you like to join a security user group in the UK?

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I've spoken to many IT Professionals to find out whether there's a security user group in the UK that provides the opportunity to meet peers and share ideas - I've not been able to find one in the UK though have found many active groups in America.

Am I missing something here? Do you have experience of UK based information security oriented user groups? Why do you think they don't seem to exist?

The nearest to UK based security user groups I've come across are professional bodies such as the British Computer Society, the Institute of Electrical Engineers, ISACA et al though IMHO whilst they provide excellent resources they have barriers to entry such as cost or qualification.

Other areas of technology have thriving UK based user groups - take the developer community for example, amongst others they have VBUG which is a highly active group who meet at locations all around the country to share ideas.. The UK Database community have Tony's excellent SQLServerFAQ user group. If you get a moment please take a look at these existing user groups to see the sort of benefits they offer - surely those of you who are based in the UK would benefit from something similar for Information Security.

Please comment on this post to share your thoughts.

Comments
  • I'm finding Information Security a major business issue in that I've got to allow users access to information in order for them to carry out their job function, however this level of access in its self leaves the company wide open to abuse, something that I've found on the increase.  Use of USB devices, email, wireless access and remote vpn access compounds the issues of security.  I think a group for Information Security in the UK would be cool.  

    Anyone got any thoughts?

  • I've had an email from the OWASP group recently about their last event - I'm not a member however and haven't been to any of their meetings, so I don't know if they share the same interests as you, but it might be worth looking into them a bit more:

    http://www.owasp.org/local/london.html

  • Your observation is spot on; the security groups in the UK tend to be spin-off "SIGs" of larger organisations, and like you say exclude a lot of possible members on the basis of cost or entry qualifications.

    Probably the most active non-cost security discussion group in the UK is 2600 :-)

    I'd certainly be interested in helping out if you find something worth promoting.

  • Richard> Thanks - I'll check that out

  • Nik> Agreed that there ar e plenty of "security research" user groups active in the UK!

    Please could you add another comment including your email address - I won't publish it

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