BSidesCharm 2018

We had such a great time at BSidesCharm 2018 – so much so that I felt compelled to write about it.  Over the past couple years I have attended this event on behalf of SealingTech, and I have seen the conference grow and change locations. The conference had a little different feel to it this year, or maybe I’m just getting old, but I really enjoyed myself — more so than previous years. We had nearly 100 people come by our table to play our challenges, and our team talked to many more as they passed by.

Maryland Pride

We are a local Maryland business located in Columbia, Maryland and we have a lot of Maryland pride (extra old bay, please)! We attend and support local conferences and events in the cybersecurity industry from government to local college events. We love attending BSidesCharm, if we weren’t sponsoring, we would still have 5 – 10 employees attending the sessions every year. For most of our employees attending BSidesCharm can be like a large reunion. For most of us who attended local colleges, BSidesCharm is an opportunity to catch up with others who were in the same degree program or studies.

SealingTech Gives Back

At BSides 2017, our CEO and one of our lead engineers gave a joint talk titled “Current State of Virtualizing Network Monitoring”. This was a result of some initial findings in Network Function Virtualization (NFV). For about a year and a half we have been going down this road of research and it has lead us to developing an Expandable Defensive Cyber Operations Platform called EDCOP set to launch in summer 2018 (keep an eye out for more information).

We take pride in our work and like to show off our challenges as well as our table decorations which are all handmade and home grown.(See the clock and rollover cable to the left and right)


As a small business, sponsoring conferences is a great way to get our name out there. We love talking with attendees and showing off our company and employees.  In addition to the sponsor floor, BSidesCharm holds a ‘Hiring Village’ in parallel to the two-day event. While we don’t directly participate in the ‘Hiring Village’, we recognize that a lot of the conference attendees are job seekers. BSidesCharm attracts those who are bright, motivated, talented, and creative- the type of talent pool that dreams are made of.  We use this conference as our time to shine as we showcase SealingTech’s unique, innovative, and exuberant culture.  Our inventive and interactive challenges not only attract like-minded cybersecurity professionals, but also potential candidates. As we talk and learn more about the people visiting our booth, we encourage them to check out our career site and join our Talent Network, even if they aren’t actively seeking a new job. This way we can save their information, keep the relationship going, and reach out when the perfect opportunity arises.

Something for Everyone

With how wide the cybersecurity subject matter is and how deep it can go, it’s difficult to stay on-top of trends across the cybersecurity industry. BSidesCharm is a great place to get a condensed view of the landscape and opportunity to talk to local industry-leading experts. For some attendees, this can be somewhat overwhelming at times. Throughout the 2-day event you’re sitting and listening to roughly 20 talks about subjects in the industry that you work in and you tend to feel as if you don’t know enough. If this sounds familiar I would point you to a talk from BSidesCharm 2017 titled “Imposter Syndrome”, which is another example of how great BSidesCharm is and how there really is something for everyone.

“[BSidesCharm is] a great place to get started [in] new areas of cybersecurity/forensics and to broaden your knowledge base.”
– Mark Stypulkowski, SealingTech

Whether you come from a background of network engineering, systems engineering, system administration, penetration testing, red teaming or blue teaming, you will find something that aligns with your interests. You often find yourself learning the most from presentations containing other’s failures, or what wasn’t successful and why.

Looking Ahead

Myself, my team and our staff are looking forward to BSidesCharm 2019. We already have the gears turning on what fun table games we can develop for next year, it’s going to be bigger and better and just as fun.

Look for an upcoming blog about the table challenges our engineers have put together the past 3 years and a deep dive into the Connect Port challenge from BSidesCharm 2018. In the meantime, Take a look at our Twitter, follow us, and check out some of the live tweeting that happened at the event.

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