Can Alexa help keep your network secure?

That's the question! This year at IT/Dev Connections, we'll be bringing together our two diverse attendee groups to create an Enterprise-class Alexa skill!

Community Effort: The IT/Dev Connections 2017 Hackathon is designed as a community event to bring together the two different types of attendees (developers and IT Pros) to work together to produce one of the first Enterprise-class Alexa skills to exist. Think of this as a real-world example of DevOps, but with a much larger end-game.

Team Requirements: Each team will be comprised of 2-6 people and must consist of both developers and IT Pros. Individuals are welcome to sign up and will be placed on a team. Your team assignment will be announced at the kick-off on Monday night. IT Pros will need knowledge of the Windows logs, log format, Windows security requirements, and security mechanics. Developers will need the knowledge of Alexa APIs, AWS Lambda, file formats Alexa can understand, and how to deliver voice commands.

To get started, here's some information. Keep these handy:

Project Goal: Teams will create a service that runs on a Windows PC/Server to retrieve security events from the event log. It will locate the security events that are most critical and export them to an applicable file format (possibly XML) that can be read by Alexa. The file will then be stored where Alexa can access it so the voice service can read the daily updated file when queried. Examples of queries: “Alexa, are there any security problems I need to address today?” “Alexa, is our environment secure?” etc. EXTRA CREDIT: Using Amazon's new notification API, the skill could notify the security staff when more critical security issues (such as intrusions) are happening in real time.

We will have a few Echo Dots on-hand to loan to teams for testing. For those times when a Dot is not available, here are services and apps that teams can use to test progress:

When: The Hackathon will be announced during the opening comments of the kick-off party for IT/Dev Connections 2017 on Monday – October 23. On your schedule, this is shown as the 6:00pm-8:30pm timeslot for the Kick-off Community Event/Welcome Reception. Then, after the reception, we'll meet back at 8:30pm to register, assign teams, talk about the Hackathon details, and take questions.

The Hackathon will run until the judging period which is from 2-5pm on Wednesday. Teams will need to stop by and submit their progress to a panel of judges. The judges will confer and determine the winner. 

Hackathon Finale: Join us for the Hackathon Finale on Wednesday, October 25 at 5:45pm to see the winning hack. Plus there will be donuts... super-delicious, freshly-made, Designer Donuts. Mmmmm, donuts!

Prizes! The winning team will receive a trophy and each winning team member will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Signup Details: Advanced sign up is now open! You can also sign up on-site during the Hackathon Kickoff at 8:30 pm on Monday, Oct. 23.