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Celebrating 10 years of providing a security community

Brian Bourne, TASK

25-Mar-2015 Members form consistent monthly meetings to network over security and privacy


TASK (Toronto Area Security Klatch) is celebrating 10 years of providing a security community. Current membership is 3500. Over 150 are expected to attend the official 10th anniversary event.

“Rene Hamel did the first talk in 2005, so we have him coming back, which is kind of fun, because it’s full circle,” said Co-founder Brian Bourne. “Technically our 10th year was in February, but we missed our February event, so we’re celebrating this month.” 

TASK is consistently drawing 120 to every event.

“It’s a good sustaining group, and yet it’s never all the same people,” Bourne said. “Which group shows is topic dependent. A Windows talk doesn’t attract Windows folks – it attracts Linux folks. You go to learn what you don’t know.”

The demographics of TASK includes management, students, IT pros, developers, workers with an interest in security, and hacker community members. No group dominates. 

“Their motive is to learn something they otherwise wouldn’t have time to learn, and do so in a fun, no-pressure environment with no sales talks,” said Bourne. “If we have a sponsor for a particular meeting, they get 10 minutes in between the talks. It’s a friendly networking environment.”

With two presentations per event, attendees can get a condensed lesson on whatever the topic is, and as long as they’re interested, it’s worthwhile.

“We’ve covered everything from hacker stuff, to compliance management, and the soft skills required to get a job in the field,” Bourne said. “All things relevant to the security industry, depending on who wants to speak and what they want to speak about.”

There’s neither fee nor registration – just show up. In true security form TASK doesn’t know who its members are. The few demographic surveys conducted over the years were anonymous.

“It’s a place to satisfy curiosity and the place to learn,” said Bourne. “For example, it seems every week there are new things in Azure that you couldn’t do the week before. It’s always changing. It’s interesting how privacy intersects with security, and we have quite a reasonable number of privacy-related talks.”

For the remainder of 2015 monthly events are at the Telus building at 25 York St, Toronto, the last Wednesday of every month (excepting Christmas).

“People know there will be an event and the talks will be good,” said Bourne. “Security is not going away as an important issue, that’s for sure. I’ve made a lot of good friends in TASK. And SecTor spun out of it, as a side benefit. SectTor is about the latest and greatest, whereas TASK is around important things to talk about.”