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Your experience is vital to helping our community advance! Before you begin your Security Professionals Conference proposal submission process, please be sure you review the information below and follow the checklist at the bottom of the page.

Session Formats

Proposals will be accepted for both preconference seminars and presentation sessions. The committee encourages you to consider the session format that best supports your project and presentation style, such as interactive presentations, facilitated discussions, panel sessions, or point/counterpoint discussions. Longer sessions (90-minute track sessions or preconference seminars) may be more technical in nature, a panel discussion, an in-depth topical discussion, or a non-technical hands-on session.

Preconference Seminar

Preconference seminars will be held on Monday, May 1, in Denver. Attendees pay an additional fee to attend preconference seminars. Each seminar presenter (maximum of 2) will be provided with a full complimentary registration to the 2017 Security Professionals Conference. If you have any questions, please contact the Presenter Liaison at

  • Half-day preconference seminar (Monday, May 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MT or 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT) [3 hours of prepared content]
  • Full-day preconference seminar (Monday, May 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT) [6 hours of prepared content]

Presentation Session

  • 60-minute track session
  • 90-minute track session

2017 Program Tracks

In addition to the conference theme (Acknowledge the Past, Assess the Present, Anticipate the Future), the program committee has identified six tracks they believe will make an interesting and useful program in 2017.

Cyber Threat Intelligence

The pragmatic implementation of a cyber threat intelligence program is essential for higher education institutions seeking to make informed decisions and safeguard critical assets in response to relevant threats and attackers. This track will focus on how to build a practical intelligence program at your institution and address ways to balance an institution's needs for compliance-based and threat intelligence programs. Presentations may focus on how threat intelligence is defined by different institutions; potential sources and uses of threat information (which may be tactical, technical, operational, or strategic in nature); methods, platforms, and partners for sharing threat information; and effective practices and techniques for collecting and analyzing information through open source tools or other means.

Technologies, Operations, and Practices

Bring us your best technical solutions and practices for your institution's security challenges. Emerging technologies as well as tried and true solutions that are still going strong are all of interest. We encourage both deep-dive technical and beginner how-to guides. Presentations that explore excellent partnerships that are bringing you great performance and value are also welcome. Hands-on or video demonstrations are a great way to engage session attendees. A good rule-of-thumb for submissions is, "if you have worked on a technical project that took at least a month, and you're proud of it, submit a proposal."

Awareness and Training

Awareness and training are key components of successful information security programs. We seek proposals that discuss the steps necessary to raise the level of security awareness among faculty, staff, and students. We also encourage proposals that focus on mature (and replicable) security awareness and training programs. This may include how to: communicate information to a diverse audience; provide a solid understanding on a wide array of security topics; convey the institutional risks; and teach all users how to protect themselves against current threats.

Governance, Risk, Compliance, and Audit

Safeguarding institutional information while maintaining an open and accessible campus necessitates a significant investment to work through issues of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), and policies. Outside audit as well as internal assessments which are more prevalent and more mainstream in academia and are becoming more interwoven into the day-to-day activities of higher education information security professionals. Every aspect of today's security daily activities have some form of assessment or audit component associated with it, and as a result, require a greater degree of formalized documentation and tracking. We seek proposals that offer solutions to help other higher education institutions address and manage risk, security program governance, policy development, and compliance/audit/assessment programs. We encourage sharing perspectives on what you need to know, what your institution has done and how you have succeeded in moving forward in a time of growing compliance and audit and additional focus on managing risk.

Career and Workforce Development

Career development is all about you: enhancing the skills that you rely on as an information security professional and inspiring you to be more proactive in your career development. These presentations will help you explore the next steps as a security professional, whether it's transitioning into a management or CISO role, or broadening your perspective to take on challenges outside information security. Regardless of your career level, the size of your organization, or the financial and time constraints you face, there are numerous opportunities that will help you improve your skills and establish a career path to support the institutional mission.

Workforce development is all about others: As a leader, you understand the cybersecurity workforce is at the forefront of protecting data, infrastructure and networks. Organizations must be strategic in their human resource strategies in order to hire and retain the right information security professional to protect their assets. This track shall explore: understanding workforce needs and skills gap; hiring the right people for clearly defined roles; enhancing employee skills once they enter your organization; and creating an environment and implementing programs that retain top talent.


The relationship between privacy and security remains a challenging topic for colleges and universities that rarely have the commitment or resources to develop separate programs with full-time staff. Consequently, organizations often merge privacy and security and sometimes confuse both definition and approach. Although privacy is not strictly an IT function, the movement of data from print to digital form has put IT staff in the position of making difficult policy and technical choices about implementing privacy practices that fulfill user expectations, comply with laws and regulations, and adhere to Fair Information Practice Principles. Privacy professionals who are not trained in IT find it equally difficult to serve as privacy advocates in an area that is both technically demanding and rapidly changing. This track is designed to cast a spotlight on the role of privacy in a digital era.

Note: Each year, almost half of conference attendees are security engineers, security or network analysts, or other security professionals with technical responsibilities or interests. Attendees frequently request more technical sessions in the conference evaluations, so we strongly encourage proposal submissions that include more in-depth, technical content.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of Topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to higher education?
  • Proposed Topic Coverage: Does the proposal adequately cover content related to the proposers' learning objectives/key stated outcomes?
  • Speaker Knowledge: Does the speaker, or speakers, have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the proposal and/or your prior experience with or knowledge of the speaker?
  • Engagement Strategies: Does the speaker include specific strategies relevant to event size/audience/maturity of topic in which they will engage participants in the session content and do those strategies align with the session's learning objectives/outcomes?
  • Overall Rating: What is your evaluation of this proposal overall?

Note: Proposals will be selected to ensure the conference program offers a comprehensive, noncommercial, objective, and diverse treatment of issues related to the theme and focus of this conference. You may also be invited to present in a format other than the one you selected.

Corporate Presentations

The program committee will not review proposals that include a corporate presenter. Corporate and Campus Solutions presentations will be accepted via the Corporate Participation page. These are presentations by a corporation coupled with a client campus on technology challenges and solutions related to information security or privacy, and there is a fee for presenting.

Proposal Preparation Checklist

Before starting the proposal submission process, be sure you have completed these steps to have the necessary information to submit your proposal:

Explore the Presenter Concierge Your Guide to Writing a Successful Conference Proposal.

Review Meeting Demographics to see who participates in this conference.

Examine the tracks above. Select up to two tracks that are most applicable to your proposed topic.

Examine the session formats above. Select the format that is most suitable for your proposed topic .


Submit Proposal

Submit your proposal by Monday, November 14.

Note: This link will take you to our approved provider website to complete your CFP submission.

Key Upcoming Dates

  • November 14, 2016: Proposal Deadline
  • Mid-December: Presenters notified
  • Mid-January: Registration opens

Proposal Tutorials

Program Committee

Special thanks to our program committee and volunteer proposal reviewers.


Presenter Expectations

Presenters are responsible for:

  • Registering in advance for the conference
  • Paying the full conference registration fee, and securing and paying for travel and lodging.
  • Uploading related resources—documents or links—prior to the presentation (requested). These resources provide support for the presentation and then become a part of the conference proceedings so that your valuable information is accessible beyond your session.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact your speaker liaison, Breanne Maxim.