[PODCAST] Michael Mangold strategizes for networking and community growth at InfoSec Nashville

On September 19, 2017, information security professionals from around the world will converge upon Nashville’s Music City Center for the InfoSec Nashville conference – a day of conversation focused on defense strategies for our most precious data.

The conference, which will feature two keynote speakers, 16 unique breakout sessions, and 8 20 minute flash sessions, is the product of a long planning process and community partnerships. In order to find headlining speakers, conference organizers relied on local advertising through ISSA and word-of-mouth, calling for speakers who are interested to send in presentation topics for review.

“It’s a way for those who are interested to send topics for review to be presented at the conference. We try to take into consideration everything from knowledge to speaking style to topic and try to create a diverse platform, so whether you’re more of a true techie, whether you’re concerned about incident response, or compliance concerns with your organization, we try to give a flavor of all those aspects of security,” said Michael Mangold, Vice President of Information Security for Tractor Supply Company and chair of InfoSec Nashville 2017.

In its 17th year, the conference relies on the community in its planning process, but also encourages participants to consider their roles in the city’s ever-growing “demand for not just skillsets, but tools and technologies,” Mangold said – a big draw for vendors.

“For me, it’s been fantastic seeing the city transform and grow. I’m probably one of the few native Nashvillians here today, but through that growth, and the growth of the job market, we’ve been able to create a lot of opportunity in the technology industry. So that in turn draws a lot of top talent from across the country,” he said.

This expansion in the information security and technology industries is a natural result of Nashville’s health care background, which allows for cooperative development of innovation in problem-solving strategies.

“When you think about the growth and the capabilities these companies provide, it’s new ways of exposing information, when means you also have to protect it. I think the innovation, the creativity of the solutions being delivered offers a new challenge for protecting information,” Mangold said.

In addition to a role of expert speakers, prizes and delicious food, InfoSec Nashville 2017 attendees can expect “a lot of energy and excitement” at the conference, as well as a chance to connect with old contacts and network with new ones.
“It’s a great networking opportunity, seeing people you know in the community and meeting new individuals,” he said.

In an industry where companies are facing constant challenge to protect themselves, their brands, their reputations and their finances, sharing knowledge and participating in information security’s burgeoning community, can be key to keeping up the fight.

“Information security is a very interesting field. You feel like you’re always playing defense against the bad guys. And as the threats continue to evolve, it becomes harder,” he said. “Being able to get together with a group and talk about types of attacks, how companies are either protecting or putting plans in place, I think the more you share with your peers, the more successful you’ll be.”

Michael Mangold is the conference chair of InfoSec Nashville, which will be held on September 19, 2017 at the Music City Center. Register now to attend the conference.