Photo of Harvina Bains

Harvina Bains

Marketing Executive

28th February 2023


February has been a busy month for team as we headed out of the office to attend a couple of events in Tampa, Florida. First on our agenda was Civo Navigate. This cloud native event had us reeling with excitement, not only for its headline speaker, Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, but also for the impressive line-up for the host’s inaugural conference. Next up we attended and exhibited at the 6th annual Synapse Summit, celebrating innovation in the Florida community.

Attending the events gave us a great opportunity to network, meet customers and bring some of our UK and US team together in Florida’s tech capital.

Tampa was recently named the number-one emerging tech city by Forbes, with so much opportunity within the industry it was the perfect place for us to be. So let’s get into how our time went.

Civo Navigate

Our first event was Civo Navigate which took place on the 7th and 8th of February at Armature Works in Tampa, a thriving venue with everything an up-and-coming tech event should require. During the event the Civo team revealed this was the first of the Navigate series, with a second Navigate planned for the UK. We can’t wait to hear more about it!

As a gold sponsor, we were perfectly pitched near the entrance of the main stage, offering delegates an array of swag and the opportunity to learn how to pick locks. With ethical hackers among our team, it was a no brainer that they’d want to show off some of their tricks of the trade.™ Team

The event was packed with talks and workshops focused on navigating and succeeding within the cloud native landscape, and the first day kicked off in style with a fascinating talk by Apple Co-Founder, Steve Wozniak. He began talking about his childhood and how he first got into computing.

‘Woz’ then gave an insight into how he developed and designed the Apple I and Apple II, which became highly successful, mass-produced microcomputers in the mid to late 1970s, and also cleared up some misconceptions about the role he and Steve Jobs played.

A notable comment that he made was regarding artificial intelligence where he spoke about his doubts surrounding the hype as he feels nothing can compare to the human brain.

Interested in knowing more? Check out Civo CEO Mark Boost’s first-hand account of what it was like interviewing the ‘Woz’

Meeting Steve Wozniak

Meeting Steve Wozniak

After his main stage talk, Woz treated some of the VIP guests of the event to some more tales over a superb brunch put on by Oak & Ola. He then stuck around for a few chats and photos, with our CEO, Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, being one of the lucky ones. Here’s what Oli had to say about meeting Steve Wozniak:

“It was cool, he spoke about pivoting and not being afraid to change your plan as a business. It was a great opportunity to meet and hear from someone who has a technology focused view on business, it was really refreshing.”

Can we also take a moment to applaud the Marketing team for the amazingly placed banner that sneaked into the background of all the photos? No? Just us? Ok, moving on…

Main Stage Talk

On the second day of Civo Navigate, Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh took to the main stage to deliver his talk on ‘bad guys and how they hack it’. Sharing insights into general cybersecurity best practices as well as war stories from the frontline of Penetration Testing, including how we once managed to hack into the building of a bank! But we couldn’t go to a cloud native event without sharing tips on container security, so here’s a sneak peak of some of the content shared.

In this overview of the attack surface Oli covered the 4Cs of security – Cloud, Cluster, Container and Code:

Best Practices for Container Security

Finishing off his talk, Oli asked the audience to put their security skills to the test. We showed how we managed to hack an AWS environment using techniques seen every day in the wild. The scenario was to hack a web application that is used by companies to send health check requests to custom addresses. Could our audience figure out how we did it? The audience had the challenge of figuring out how he did it and anyone able to tell us got their hands on an exclusive retro Gameboy!

Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh at Civo Navigate

We finished off with a Q&A session where delegates had the opportunity to pick Oli’s brain on all things security. This was a fantastic way to kick off day two and it only got better from here…

Hacking Workshop

From the main stage to the kitchen (aka the Show and Tell room), Oli then delivered his workshop session: Learn to Hack – Discover Pen Testers Secret Weapons.

Civo Navigate Hacking Workshop

This was a very popular session with all seats in the Show and Tell room filled and some people pulling in seats along the back row. It was great to see so many people keen to see how hacking works and put their skills to the test.

Oli kicked off the session by explaining how the main stage hack was achieved and then went onto discuss the key concepts that would be covered during the workshop hack which included:

  • SQL injection (SQLi)
  • Session management
  • Command injection
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • Insecure direct object reference (IDOR)

Once we had introduced the basics, it was down to our delegates to figure out the rest and simulate their own hack. With a little help from our team, all attendees managed to complete all four stages of the hack and were officially welcomed to the Syndicate. We had a great time seeing how everyone tackled each task differently and we hope they learned something new, too!

Thank you Civo for organising and hosting such a great event. We can’t wait for the next one!

For more information about Civo Navigate and to check out the highlights check out their page here: Civo Navigate Tampa 2023

Synapse Summit

Synapse Summit

Next on our list was the Synapse Summit on February 14th at the Amalie Arena. This event brought together Florida’s innovators to showcase the incredible talent, technologies, products and services that are making an impact. This ranges from businesses that are making a noticeable difference in the community in how we live, work or play but also emerging technology and innovative products that create a positive difference whether that be in healthcare, fintech or sustainability and more.

We had the opportunity to exhibit and connect with people who were interested in cybersecurity and Penetration Testing. Many delegates also visited our booth to give lock picking a try, a skill that came a little too naturally to some!

It was fantastic to see some familiar faces that we had already seen at Civo Navigate, showing how the business tech community is really thriving in Florida. We loved the atmosphere and the learning opportunities presented. It’s a great event for the business community of Florida and we definitely recommend you attend next year!

Synapse Summit™  Team

Final Thoughts

We want to say thank you to the Civo Navigate team and Synapse Florida for putting on two brilliant events allowing us to showcase our products and services to the Florida cloud native and innovation community.

We had a great time experiencing two of the biggest technology events Florida has to offer and meeting so many likeminded people within the community. We look forward to seeing more of you soon as we continue our events throughout the year, until the next one!

Civo Navigate will be coming to London in September and we can’t wait! Make sure to follow their social here for updates on what’s to come.

If you fancy seeing us in person follow our LinkedIn channel to find out where we’ll be next.

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