CISO Exchange West Event – Sunday Was Speaking and Eating

Having survived the night and getting some good sleep, I was ready to tackle the day. Being that I did not actually speak until 3:30pm, I had plenty of time to prepare so I decided to take a walk around and grab some breakfast.

A typical view across the table for the road warrior

San Francisco is a very beautiful place. My hotel was right beside the Moscone Center and across from the YBCA (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) which has a beautiful park setting and backs up to some shopping. I ended up eating breakfast at the iconic “Mel’s Drive-In” and continued to enjoy the area.

On my way back, I stopped by where the event was, checked in and made sure I knew how it was going to work. I like to make sure I am ready for issues, which proved to be a good idea later. I spent the next couple of hours in the hotel room checking and replying to emails while waiting.

At about 2:45 I suited up and headed down to the conference. When I got to my room, they had a laptop already set up, however the slides that were loaded were old, they were also in 4:3 format when I usually use 16:9. I’m really not sure where the deck came from (they looked like ones I used at another event for these folks a few months ago), but the race was on to correct the issue. When you do this sort of work, nothing is surprising, so you simply adapt and overcome. I had to do a high-speed rework of the slides I had in to 16:9 format since the projector and screen were 4:3. I got it done, but barely. My mad skillz in PowerPoint bailed me out. 🙂

The session went well with a lot of interactive discussion. I didn’t make it through the whole deck, but I had expected that if we had good Q&A so it was fine. I even got to meet a gentleman I recently did a webinar with. It was very cool.

Even the garlic is cooked in garlic sauce

After the session, I hung out at our booth for a bit and learned some from the sales guys. From there, it was dinner time. I suggested that we go to “The Stinking Rose” for dinner. This is another iconic SF place to eat, and the general premise is to cook everything in garlic. Even the garlic is garlic roasted. Good times and good eats with my sales brethren. At dinner I was introduced to a drink called “Grappa” which is the grape waste products from making wine. Basically, they take the dead, crushed husks of the grapes after pressing for wine and let it rot (aka ferment) and squeeze the juice out of it. It tastes just as bad as you may imagine.

From there, it was walking back to the hotel to catch some sleep (in the warm pink glow of the Buddha of course) so I could get up and get to the airport for my 8am flight.

Erich Kron is the Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, and has over 20 years’ experience in the medical, aerospace manufacturing and defense fields. He is the former security manager for the US Army 2nd Regional Cyber Center-Western Hemisphere.

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