Versus 16

Versus Is Not Your Ordinary Infosec Conference

There are already plenty of conferences dedicated to computer and information security. Aside from well-known events like the RSA Security Conference, Black Hat, DefCon, and the many BSides conferences, many vendors also host their own conferences like Intel Security (McAfee) FOCUS. It seems like there is a security conference going on somewhere just about every week, so what is the point of Versus 16—the new security conference from Vera Security?

The answer is that Versus 16 is designed to stand out with a unique approach and format. It is not just another conference of information security professionals pitching topics and presenting in countless overlapping sessions that force attendees to choose which tracks or sessions fit into their schedule.

What separates Versus 16 from the crowd are two things. First—it is a one-day conference. Vera CEO Ajay Arora explained during a media dinner at Black Hat that he wanted to respect the time of the guests and attendees by creating an event that provides value without halting productivity for an entire week like many conferences. Second, the format is more of an open discussion about key issues as opposed to a lecture or presentation.

There will be presentations as well. Versus 16 will include a series of 15-minute TED-like presentations that convey a powerful message in a short period of time. Much of Versus 16, however, will revolve around head-to-head examinations and lightning-round discussions designed to spark debate and expand the conversation around key areas of security.


As Vera put it in a press release about the event, “Bringing together crypto experts, industry leaders and security visionaries, Versus 16 will be an immersive event focused on “Challenging What You Know” about security, technology and doing business in today’s highly collaborative, digital world.”

Vera revealed that the opening keynote will be presented by New York Times best-selling author, and Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics, Dan Ariely. He will share insights from his book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions. Ariely will talk about basic assumptions of our economic system and illustrate how the decisions we make are influenced by factors that are not rational. He will also discuss the approach to understanding human behavior used for his new book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivation, which is set to be released on November 15.

The Vera press release states, “Versus 16 will include live musical entertainment, some comic relief, and a special surprise guest to keep things interesting and fun. After the conference, there will be an open networking reception from 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Join the Versus 16 conversation on social media using #Versus16. Live social media coverage will be shared by partners on a variety of platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, LinkedIn and Snapchat.”

The lineup of guests is still growing, but currently includes:

  • Adel Zahiry, Business Information Security Officer, NBC Universal
  • Clara Shih, Author, CEO and Co-founder, Hearsay Social
  • Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Daniel Rosenthal, Associate Managing Director, Kroll
  • Patrick Heim, Chief Trust Officer, Dropbox
  • Richard Seiersen, Author, Vice President of Trust / CISO, Twilio
  • Nami Mufti, Director of IT, Capital One
  • Alan Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer, Illumio
  • Yousuf Khan, Vice President of IT, Pure Storage
  • Amir Ben-Efraim, CEO and Co-founder, Menlo Security
  • David Baker, Chief Security Officer, Okta
  • Kate Conger, Security Reporter, TechCrunch
  • David Corsano, Information Technology Director, Cisco
  • Nick Bilogorskiy, Senior Director of Threat Operations, Cyphort
  • Caroline Wong, Vice President, Security Strategy, Cobalt

You can learn more about Versus 16, view the full agenda and register to attend at

*Vera is a sponsor of TechSpective

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