Five reasons why I’m excited to attend AWS re:Inforce 2021 in Houston, TX

You may have seen the recent invitation from Stephen Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Amazon Web Services, to join us at AWS re:Inforce in Houston, TX on August 24 and 25. I’d like to dive a little bit deeper into WHY you should attend and HOW to make the most of your time there.

Why listen to me? As an AWS Enterprise Strategist focused on security, risk, and compliance (and a former CISO), I spend most of my time with customers helping them navigate the world of security in the cloud. I also help them learn how security fits into the bigger picture of digital transformation and cloud adoption. Virtually every question and problem set I’m presented with as part of my day job is addressed at AWS re:Inforce. It is a learning conference designed to educate our customers through hands-on workshops and sessions, whether they’re executives, managers, engineers, or developers. Focused on the security mission, AWS re:Inforce is the event we’ve been looking for as security professionals, free of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and “magic potions” presented at other security events.

Although many attendees come to learn from AWS leaders and security practitioners, I believe some of the best knowledge comes from our customers (your peers) and the amazing security solutions they’ve built using AWS services. The customer sessions present practical solutions that have worked at their respective organizations. Struggling on how to solve a particular security challenge? Chances are one of your peers has already solved it. And during the ample networking opportunities, you may be able to teach and inspire your peers as well! View the listings for customer-led and AWS-led sessions.

I’ve written about how to think broadly about security solutions by focusing on capabilities rather than specific tools or vendor solutions. AWS re:Inforce underscores the point that with the cloud, you are in charge of your own security destiny.

Some of the sessions and experiences I’m particularly excited about at this year’s AWS re:Inforce:

  1. Stephen Schmidt’s keynote with special guest speaker, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky. AWS re:Inforce 2021 kicks off with the keynote on Tuesday, August 24. Stephen and Adam will take the stage with industry-leading guest speakers to share best practices for managing security, compliance, identity, and governance in the cloud. In addition to attending in person, you can register for the livestream of the keynote.
  2. Leadership sessions from some of the top security, risk, and compliance minds at AWS. The sessions cover the latest in Data Protection & Privacy, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Identity & Access Management, Network & Infrastructure, and Threat Detection & Incident Response.
  3. Security Jams, which are gamified security exercises based on real-world security problems. We’re offering two gamified learning opportunities at re:Inforce: AWS Security Jams and Capture the Flag. Security Jams are scheduled sessions, and the Capture the Flag experience in the Expo is self-paced. Both offer you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge of general security concepts as well as AWS security best practices. Create a team or work solo—all you need to bring is your desire to learn and a laptop.
  4. The Security Learning Hub, where you can learn at your own pace about the subjects YOU are interested in, from the experts who either built or regularly support your favorite AWS security solutions. The Security Learning Hub is the central location for learning and engagement at re:Inforce. Not only will you learn from AWS Security Partners, but you’ll engage in unique demos and experiences, connect with AWS experts, and network with the security community.
  5. Networking—meet with peers, customers, AWS Partners, and AWS Security experts under one roof (and yes, in person!).

Still not sure how to best plan your time? Take a look at these curated attendee guides by some of our security-focused AWS Heroes, who are experts in their own right. Whether you identify as a builder, executive, or industry/security professional, there’s a path for you to follow for your time at AWS re:Inforce.

If you’re already registered, I look forward to seeing you in Houston and wish you an awesome AWS re:Inforce 2021. Not registered yet…what are you waiting for? Register today and use the code “RFSALUwi70xfx” for a $300 discount.

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Clarke Rodgers

Clarke is an Enterprise Security Strategist with AWS. In this role, Clarke works with enterprise security, risk, and compliance focused executives on how AWS can strengthen their security posture and to help understand the security capabilities/possibilities of the cloud. Prior to AWS, Clarke was a CISO for the North American operations of a multinational insurance/reinsurance company where he took a strategic division all-in to AWS for security reasons, to include achieving SOC2/Type2 attestation. Clarke’s 20+ year career in IT operations and security-focused roles helps him align with the needs of today’s enterprise customers during their cloud transformation journeys. Clarke attended the University of North Carolina and served as a United States Marine.