Skip to main content

Call for Training Workshops

Deadline: June 12
Notification: July 23

Training Workshops Chair: Daniel Faigin, The Aerospace Corporation

Training Workshops are a full day (6 hours) hands-on experience that combines traditional training segments with hands-on application of the material presented. The goal should be to have the formal instructional portions be no more than 50% of the overall experience. General cybersecurity training is available from a wide variety of in-person and online sources, so ACSAC courses must provide a unique spin and hands-on experience not easily available elsewhere. Instructors receive conference registration and travel expenses. If you would like to indicate a topic you would like to see, you may do that as well; please suggest an instructor if you can.

How does a training workshop differ from other conference activities?

A training workshop provides a combination of lectures and hands on experience so that participants leave with real world skills at the end of the workshop.

An ACSAC Training Workshop is NOT:

  • A technical workshop, in that it is not a series of papers or positions exploring an emerging topic area.
  • A technical paper or presentation, in that is it not reporting on experience, research, or research findings.
  • A tutorial or professional development course, in that it is not one or more instructors standing up and lecturing students for the instructional period. In the past, ACSAC offered traditional tutorials / professional development courses. ACSAC is transitioning to the Training Workshop in 2019, as traditional training is easily available in other venues.
  • A case study in that it is not reporting on experience of application of technology in the field.
  • A panel in that it is not presenting a set of perspectives on a given subject.
  • A general course on Computer Science or topics that are well explored within the Cybersecurity field.
  • An attempt to market a product, or overly focused on a single product.

What are good training workshop topics?

Many topics are suitable for ACSAC training workshops. The best topics will relate to the conference hot topic, as well as other new and emerging areas in the cybersecurity field that could benefit from hands-on experience. Specialized penetration and vulnerability testing (such as car hacking), or cybersecurity incident response simulation are examples of training workshops, but are clearly not the only examples. Other areas could involve hands-on application of cybersecurity and system security engineering processes, application of complicated computing or encryption techniques, and exploration of emerging technologies. Extremely narrow topics, such as those related to a single vendor, are probably not appropriate for a broad conference such as ACSAC. See the following topics list for ideas.

What do I need to have ready for training workshop submission?

Unlike technical papers, the workshop does not need to be completely developed as of the time of submission. However, there must be a relatively firm outline, including preliminary allocations of how time is to be allocated to each section of the workshop. A maximum of 50% of the workshop should be traditional instruction, and ideally the instructional portion should not be in a single contiguous training block. Training workshops may also include segments (~ 25% at most) that incorporate more traditional technical workshop presentations (i.e., papers) in the field.

Do not think of a training workshop as a training course, with the implication of a single instructor. Multiple instructors are possible if that is the best approach to cover the material.

If a textbook or printed material is required, that should be identified (if known) at the time of submission. If other technical materials or facilities are required (such as student-provided laptops, Internet access, other devices), those should also be identified in the submission.

Training workshop proposals should make very clear the technical background required of attendees. A workshop on the security aspects of the X-technology should devote no more than 10% of the time to reviewing X-technology only insofar as necessary to establish a common basis for the discussion of security. You should not need to provide a general computer security overview.

A discussion of what exercises the participants will perform will also help the committee understand the quality of the submission.

How do I structure a training workshop submission?

Training workshop submissions are handled very differently than are papers or panel proposals. Most, if not all, training workshop submissions will be reformatted by the Training Chair into a package that goes to the training review team. Your cooperation in structuring your submission properly is important.

Training workshop submissions should have the following structure:

  • Title of the workshop
  • Indication of the desired length of the workshop (full day, or half day)
  • One to two paragraphs of introductory text about the workshop.
  • Identification of any prerequisites for the workshop
  • Identification of any textbooks for the workshop
  • Identification of any standards, guidelines, or reports that constitute the basis for the workshop or are employed in the workshop (such as GAO reports)
  • Identification of any technical or materiel requirements for the workshop
  • One to two pages of outline for the workshop, including rough time estimates and indications of whether segments are training, hands-on, discussion or something else.
  • Identification of the leader(s) of the workshop, including contact information (mailing address, email)
  • One to two paragraphs of biographical information about each workshop lead.

How do I submit a training workshop proposal?

Workshop proposals should be submitted electronically to the address training@acsac.org. If for some reason this address does not work, submit them directly to Daniel.P.Faigin@aero.org.

Proposals may be submitted in almost any format; the preferred formats are Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Microsoft Word (RTF, DOC or DOCX), Corel WordPerfect (WPD), or OpenOffice/LibreOffice (ODT). Plain text is also accepted. LaTeX is not an acceptable format.

Is there compensation or reimbursement?

Each approved training workshop will have a budget defined for it based on the length of the workshop. This budget may be applied towards travel of the workshop leads (airfare, hotel, meals not covered by the conference). Budget not used for travel reimbursement may be applied as an honorarium to be split amongst the leads, or reimbursement to cover registration and/or hotel for the training workshop leads to attend the technical portion of the ACSAC conference.

The budgets for training workshops are currently being defined. They will minimally be sufficient to cover travel to the conference venue and hotel expenses for two nights for the workshop lead.

Note that acceptance as a workshop lead for a training workshop does not include registration for the technical portion of ACSAC.

What happens if my proposal is accepted?

If your training workshop is accepted, here's what you can expect.

  • With your acceptance in mid-July, you will receive a budget and a request for details on how you want to allocate the budget for your workshop. We may follow up with a contract to provide the specifics of the reimbursement process.
  • By mid-August, you will need to provide an updated description of the training workshop for the Advance Program. For this, it is critical that the workshop be described accurately, any prerequisites be noted, and the outline be correct.
  • By 60 days before the conference, you will need to provide a subset of the material to be presented to the training chair for review (typically about one hour or one module, depending on structure). At this time, you will also need to identify any textbook you will be using, or if you are providing papers instead, identify the relevant papers. Note that if you provide papers, you are responsible for obtaining copyright clearance.
  • By 30 days before the conference, you will need to provide the entire workshop training presentation material to the training chair. If papers are being provided, you'll need to provide copies of those papers. The conference will make copies of this material to provide to attendees.

You will be responsible for arranging your travel to the conference, although this will be reimbursed as part of your budget.

All workshop leads are encouraged to dry run your workshop to accurately estimate lecture and time to complete exercises.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions on the training workshop program or submission process, please contact the Training Chair.