Call for Papers – 2017

The CFP for BSides Cape Town 2017 is now OPEN!


This year our theme is “Back to the Future”. This theme covers everything from old security issues that have recurred in newer technology, through long lived (undiscovered) security issues and fresh takes on old problems through to applying old solutions to new problems.

We encourage talks from all over South Africa, as well as globally, but this year we would especially like to encourage those in the Cape Town community (including the academic community) to submit talk proposals, and to actively participate in the con.
If you’d like to speak to BSides, have an idea, but need some encouragement or advice, feel free to speak to one of the organisers for assistance or to reach out to InfoSec Unlocked. As stated on the website, “Each BSides is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members”, but this doesn’t exclude the devops and development communities. We all ensure security through our own efforts and we would welcome talks on these fronts.

To get you started, here are some ideas for topical issues in the local and global security space:
  1. Finding vulnerabilities.
  2. Responsible disclosure / what to do when orgs won’t fix.
  3. Impact of stockpiled vulnerabilities.
  4. Defending against future vulnerabilities.
  5. Old attacks on new technologies.
  6. Applying old (real world) defenses to new technologies.
  7. Why are some vulnerabilities not found for many years?
  8. What causes vulnerabilities to arise?
  9. Preventing vulnerabilities from escaping into production.
  10. DevSecOps and securing from the inside out.

We hope these suggestions give you some inspiration, but feel free to submit a talk on whatever topic you like, as long as it is related to security in some way.

You can present a talk on: an academic paper that you have written, research that you have conducted, a tool that you have written or enhanced, a new technique, etc. Presentations are generally less than formal – speak to your research, talk about it with us, don’t merely read it to us 🙂

The BSides team and members of the community are also able to mentor if you would require some help in preparing.

Talk formats

Standard talks with 45 minute time-slots (including questions) to take on a topic. These can  provide a mile­-wide; inch­-deep level of detail and will usually (if they strike interest) result in conversations with others outside of the main speaking room. Talks can also be more focused and provide a more detailed look at a particular area e.g. a tool, technique, countermeasure, etc. They can also be somewhere in between as long as they will be interesting to our audience.

Lightning talks with 5 minute time-slots will be held at the end of the day. These are very quick, very focused talks. These talks must be submitted to speaker ops before lunch time.

How to submit your talk proposal

Please send an email to, and include the following information:

1. The title of your talk, and a brief abstract

A catchy title can go a long way in getting the attention of the reviewers. Please include as complete an abstract of your talk as possible. We understand that your work may be in the early stages when you submit, but do your best to explain to us what you want to talk about, and why it will provide value to BSides attendees.

2. A short personal biography of yourself

This doesn’t have to be anything too in­depth, just a sentence or three about yourself, who you are, what you do, notable previous achievements, and why you’re qualified to give the talk that you’re proposing.

Please note that all talk proposals will undergo a blinded review process by the technical committee similar to other large conferences.

The deadline for submissions is 23:59 on the 30th of September 2017, but the earlier you submit the better.

3. Where you’re from, and how likely it is that you’ll be able to attend BSides without assistance from us should your talk be accepted

While we do our best to accommodate speakers from other parts of the country, and internationally, BSides Cape Town generally does not have the resources to financially assist speakers with travel and accommodation arrangements. You will most likely need to make your own arrangements to attend the conference.

We will do our best to assist where we can, so please don’t be discouraged from submitting a talk if you’re worried about this. Send us an email explaining your situation and we’ll see what we can do.

When making your submissions, remember that the majority of the BSides Cape Town audience have historically been developers. Due to this, talks that appeal to developers are more likely to make the cut. Code is welcome!