35th Annual FIRST Conference | Empowering Communities

2023 Call for Speakers Now Accepting Submissions

About the Conference Call for Speakers

The 35th annual FIRST conference will take place at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal Canada over the dates of June 4-9, 2023.

FIRST brings together security and incident response professionals from all career stages, from public, private, and education sectors around the world to exchange information and ideas, learn together, build trusted relationships, and co-operate in areas of mutual interest. We are seeking engaging speakers to present on the latest incident response and information security topics and ideas, to strengthen our individual and collective ability to prevent and respond to computer security incidents.

What We Are Looking For…

We are looking for ideas, developments, or experiences that can be applied to advance the state of security and incident response practice. Ideas that can be implemented by other teams--without requiring proprietary information or software-- are particularly welcome. We hope this list helps you think of work you, or your team members can present. We are not looking for introductory presentations, for example on the need for incident response or the use of common tools.

We do not allow presentations with the aim of gaining the audience’s interest in any commercial application, solution, or product. In other words, NO SALES OR MARKETING PRESENTATIONS!

The language of the annual conference is English.

Suggested Topics

Under the conference theme, “Empowering Communities”, we invite submissions guided by the following broad topics:

  • New Attacks – technical, human, supply chain, etc.
  • New Defenses – beyond the broken perimeter
  • New Targets – security and incident response for mobile, ICS, IoT, cloud, etc.
  • Detecting Marauders – new techniques, data analysis
  • Analyzing Attacks and Intrusions – tools, techniques, analysis, results
  • Building Better Products – product security, secure software development
  • Defenses in Place – skills, maturity, resilience, awareness, communication, etc.
  • Defending Others – national CSIRTs, third-party incidents
  • Joining Forces – sharing, collaboration, working with others
  • Sharing Stories – case studies
  • Playing by the Rules – privacy, ethics, norms, governance, standards & best practices
  • Building our Soft Skills – e.g. communication, presentation, incident response, management skills
  • Managing SOCs/CSIRTs/PSIRTs – recruiting/training, communicating to executives, etc.

Presentation Styles and Formats

The conference will comprise of three parallel session tracks and two workshop tracks, to provide a range of different styles of learning and different levels of technical/management content. Submissions should indicate whether their content is best described as technical, management, or academic.

Submissions should propose one of the following formats (note that the Program Committee may contact you to suggest a different format for a talk or session):

  • Presentations (35-minutes, inclusive of Q&A): conventional presentation to a theatre audience of up to 500-1,000.
  • Tutorial/Workshops (90-360 minutes): hands-on practical workshops for a class of up to 50. Must include a statement of any prior knowledge/skills that attendees will be assumed to have.
  • Panels (60-90-minutes, inclusive of Q&A): Must include details of the moderator, suggested duration, and tentative list of panelists

Presenters should plan to present in-person at the conference.

The Review Process, Tips, and Guidelines

All submissions are reviewed by an international Program Committee, composed of experts and practitioners representing a diverse set of teams and organizations. They are responsible for selecting the best and most relevant talks to make up the conference program. FIRST does not require you to submit a formal paper for consideration. However, your submission must at least let the reviewers understand:

  • What problem is this addressing?
  • How does this help? Who will benefit?
  • Why are you a good person to tell us this?

You must provide a detailed outline (recommended 300-500 words) and an abstract (no more than 250 words, though we recommend 100-150 words) to explain what the talk is about in a way that makes people interested in hearing it.

You are welcome to include additional materials to support any of these points. We are planning to use anonymous reviewing, so do not assume that reviewers have heard your previous thoughts, discussions, or presentations. Submissions must be complete by the closing date (see “Important Dates” below) or they will be rejected.

Submissions must be received by end of day December 2, 2022 (UTC -12:00) via the EasyChair submission tool. If you have an existing login to EasyChair, you should be able to login and proceed with the submission process. If this is your first time using EasyChair, you will need to click on the “Create a New Account” link and follow the process accordingly. The Program Committee will be able to connect with you via EasyChair for any follow-on during the review process.

EasyChair Submission Form

Please allow yourself at least 20-minutes per submission and please read the above submission instructions and tips on what makes a successful and complete FIRST submission.

Speaker Privileges

FIRST offers presentation speakers and workshop presenters discounted admission rates. FIRST does not contribute to travel, accommodation, or other expenses. Please keep in mind of the following guidelines regarding complimentary admission:

  • Limit 1 full complimentary registration pass per accepted presentation.
  • If an accepted presentation includes co-presenters that plan to attend the full conference, each additional co-presenter will be offered a full registration pass at the discounted rate of $900 US.
  • If an accepted presentation includes co-presenters that only plan to participate the day of their presentation, a complimentary one day pass will be alloted.
  • Limit 2 full complimentary registration passes per accepted workshop (90-minutes or more). Additional complimentary passes may be offered based on total duration of the accepted presentation.

Backup speakers will be offered the same speaker privileges.

Speaker discounts are non-transferable and valid for the accepted conference year.

Speakers provide consent for FIRST to record their presentations in audio and/or visual form and grant FIRST a royalty-free license to use, reproduce, and distribute the recordings and accompanying materials. Speakers also understand that while they retain the rights to their presentation materials (handouts, slides, etc.) and the content of the presentation, FIRST is the sole copyright owner of any recording and can distribute it, along with any supporting materials in any way, with the appropriate attribution of the speakers.

The annual FIRST conference is open to the public, which welcomes non-members, press, and social media coverage. After the conference, presentation materials will be made available on the public area of the FIRST website. If your presentation will be sensitive in nature and would require special handling, you must indicate your TLP level during your CFS submission. TLP definitions can be found at https://www.first.org/tlp/.

Professional photographs, audio, and video will be captured during the Conference. Conference Attendees wearing lanyards indicating their approval to be photographed/recorded, grant FIRST and its representative’s permission to photograph and/or record them during Conference activities and to use such recordings in support of FIRST’s mission. Uses of records may include, but are not limited to, electronic broadcasting on FIRST’s YouTube Channel, educational initiatives, post-conference reporting, and FIRST’s social media activities.

Important Dates

FIRST endeavors to follow timelines that say “after” as closely as possible:

  • Call for Speakers Opens: October 31, 2022
  • Call for Speakers Closes: End of day December 2, 2022 (UTC -12:00)
  • First Wave of Acceptance Notifications: After Week of February 21, 2023
  • Final Wave of Acceptance Notifications: After Week of March 14, 2023
  • Confirmations of Acceptance Due: March 28, 2023
  • Draft Presentation or Talking Point Outline Due for Review: April 18, 2023
  • Final Presentations Due for Review: May 9, 2023
  • Conference Event Dates: June 4-9, 2023

Questions for the Program Chair

If you have any questions about the conference submission process or need additional information, please contact the Program Chair, Ted Norminton at first-2023chair@first.org. On behalf of the Program Committee, we look forward to bringing the community another compelling program and look forward to seeing everyone in Montreal!