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CHARLESTON, S.C. – Hacking web apps, exploiting mass emergency notification systems, software vulnerability and the state of information security today – sounds ominous, right? It isn’t. Those are just some of the topics that were explored earlier this month during a gathering of information security professionals at the fourth annual BSides Charleston conference at the Tides Folly Beach Hotel.

Chesapeake, Va.-based ZZ Servers Co-Founder and Managing Partner David M. Zendzian, whose company sponsors the cyber security event, led the charge to launch the inaugural BSides Charleston as a co-founder in 2012. The conference is modeled after BSides Las Vegas, which started as an affordable alternative to the InfoSec convention Black Hat after speakers unable to present there, decided to hold their own event on the “b side.” Since then, BSides has grown into a community of information security and IT professionals and enthusiasts who organize events across the United States and around the globe. The goal of the BSides movement is to create events by and for the information security community that expand the spectrum of conversation and innovation in the industry.

We’re trying to make it into an organization that can last beyond the efforts of the founding members.

David Zendzian, ZZ Servers

As a Charleston native and alumnus of the College of Charleston, Zendzian wanted to foster the growth of the InfoSec community in the Lowcountry, and connect local cyber professionals to new resources and ideas. Since its inaugural conference in 2012 at the College of Charleston, BSides Charleston has continued to gain momentum as an annual event. And this year, the conference has doubled its attendance to more than 200 registered guests scheduled to attend at the scenic Tides Folly Beach Hotel on Folly Beach.

“It’s definitely growing,” Zendzian said, adding that his plan is to create a non-profit organization to manage the event well into the future. “We’re trying to make it into an organization that can last beyond the efforts of the founding members.”

BSides Charleston 2015 was held on Nov. 14 and featured 14 guest speakers including keynote speakers Kevin Johnson, CEO of Florida-based IT security consulting firm Secure Ideas, and Bill Gardner, assistant professor of integrated science and technology at Marshall University. The conference will also include a Capture The Flag (CTF) computer security competition and a Lockpick Challenge as a fundraiser for youth-based hacking conference Hak4kidz. The free all day event will include lunch and dinner.

The mission of BSides Charleston is to bring together the eclectic businesses and professionals from the Lowcountry in an inclusive and inspiring environment to discuss and collaborate on information security.

“We wanted everyone to have a great time talking about what’s going on in the industry,” Zendzian said.

With more than 25 years in the security and systems industry, David M. Zendzian founded ZZ Servers in 2006 with his brother, a 20-year retired U.S. Navy Chief Technology Specialist, to leverage the latest technologies and bring enterprise class hosting and compliance solutions to all levels of business. ZZ Servers helps companies of all sizes do IT securely – from desktop to data center – by designing, building, managing and maintaining secure information technology environments for organizations that handle credit cards, healthcare records, financial or business critical information. To learn more about ZZ Servers visit www.zzservers.com. Managing Partner David Zendzian, co-founder of BSides Charleston, is available for interviews upon request.

Since its launch in 2012, BSides Charleston has been attracting security professionals from all over the Lowcountry area for this one-day event. To learn more or register to attend the next event visit www.bsidescharleston.com.

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