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Call for Papers – 2021

The CFP for BSides Cape Town 2021 is now OPEN!

The conference is on: 4th of December 2021

CFP closes: 23:59 30th of September 2021

Google Doc for printing: Google Doc CFP


Theme: Rising from the Ashes

In 2021 BSides Cape Town is rising from the ashes of 2020 that was largely locked down in response to SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. We take a look back at an interesting period for the world at large and infosec. While the world’s attention has been focused on the viral pandemic, insecure ICS, and the malicious actors taking advantage of it, are still the order of the day. Working from home has brought new challenges to securing ICS while at the same time uniting many global tech teams to transform and secure the world. Share your experiences and visions of the future. Rise as the infosec ninja you always dreamed to be. 


We encourage talks from all over South Africa, as well as globally, but this year we would especially like to encourage anyone to submit talk proposals, and to actively participate in the conference. The online team meetings and remote teams have made the world flatter and smaller so why shouldn’t our speakers originate from all corners of the world?

If you’d like to speak to BSides, have an idea, but need some encouragement or advice, feel free to speak to one of the organisers for assistance or to reach out to InfoSec Unlocked. As stated on the website, “Each BSides is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members”, but this doesn’t exclude the devops and development communities. We all ensure security through our own efforts and we would welcome talks on these fronts.

To get you started, here are some ideas for topical issues in the local and global security space:

  1. Ransomware and critical infrastructure
  2. 8 character passwords vs 20 characters….
  3. Cryptocurrencies and cyber crime
  4. Hacking the brain aka social media
  5. ICS and airgapped networks
  6. BeyondCorp adoption forced by SARS-Cov2
  7. Going digital without secure

We hope these suggestions give you some inspiration, but feel free to submit a talk on whatever topic you like, as long as it is related to information security in some way.

You can present a talk on: an academic paper that you have written, research that you have conducted, a tool that you have written or enhanced, a new technique, etc. Presentations are generally less than formal – speak to your research, talk about it with us, don’t merely read it to us.


The BSides team and members of the community are also able to mentor if you require some help in preparing.


Talk formats
Standard talks with 45 minute time-slots (including questions) to take on a topic. These can  provide a mile­-wide; inch­-deep level of detail and will usually (if they strike interest) result in conversations with others outside of the main speaking room. Talks can also be more focused and provide a more detailed look at a particular area, e.g., a tool, technique, countermeasure, etc. They can also be somewhere in between as long as they will be interesting to our audience.


Lightning talks with 5 minute time-slots will be held at the end of the day. These are very quick, very focused talks. These talks must be submitted to speaker ops before lunch time on the day of the conference.


How to submit your talk proposal



Please send an email to, and include the following information:

  1. The title of your talk, and a brief abstract
    A catchy title can go a long way in getting the attention of the reviewers. Please include as complete an abstract of your talk as possible. We understand that your work may be in the early stages when you submit, but do your best to explain to us what you want to talk about, and why it will provide value to BSides attendees. Abstracts are suggested to be between 200 and 250 words 
  2. A short personal biography of yourself
    This doesn’t have to be anything too in-depth, just a sentence or three about yourself, who you are, what you do, notable previous achievements, and why you’re qualified to give the talk that you’re proposing.

Please note that all talk proposals will undergo a blinded review process by the technical committee, similar to other large conferences.


The deadline for submissions is 23:59 on the 30th of September 2021, but the earlier you submit the better.

  1. Where you are from, and how likely it is that you’ll be able to attend BSides without assistance from us should your talk be accepted

While we do our best to accommodate speakers from other parts of the country, and internationally, BSides Cape Town generally does not have the resources to financially assist speakers with travel and accommodation arrangements. You will most likely need to make your own arrangements to attend the conference.

We will do our best to assist where possible, so please don’t be discouraged from submitting a talk if this is a problem. Send us an email explaining your situation and we’ll see what we can do.

When making your submissions, remember that the majority of the BSides Cape Town audience have historically been involved in the development and devops worlds. Due to this, talks that appeal to developers and devops are more likely to make the cut. Code is welcome!

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