Pumped Up for RSA ‘09

April 17, 2009

Next week the IT security industry will reconvene its annual business confab, flocking to the Moscone Center in San Francisco to flaunt their wares, tout their latest research and talk to each other until they turn blue in the face… or at least until the bar closes in the lobby of the W Hotel.

Core Security will be there, not on the show floor, but in the form of several RSA speaking engagements and some offsite events that we are holding for our existing customers, and those organizations interested in hearing more about what it is that we do. (If you're attending RSA and want more information on these events please just e-mail me at matt.hines@coresecurity.com)

Some people question the value of RSA, saying that the show typically doesn’t drive a lot of sales, and that there’s too much navel-gazing inside baseball type stuff going on as everyone in the industry sizes each other up, and compares that to their own plans for the coming year.

RSA2007 logo textBut, to me, there’s really no better way to get a fix on where IT security, both as a practice and an industry, stands, than by hitting the presentations, the show floor, and yes of course, the parties to catch the vibe and see what people are really interested in. Beyond all the intangibles, we really are very excited about the pair of speaking opportunities that we landed at this year’s RSA Conference.

Interstate Security Road Map

First off, we have Bob Maley, Chief Information Security Officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who will be presenting early Thursday morning (8 am, Orange Room 131) on the “Lessons Learned” track on the topic of “Defending Citizen Data: Proactively Preventing Government Breaches.” Bob is one of our most loyal and high-profile customers, and he’s not only championing the use of our product across the PA state government, but also trying to create standards for the entire Commonwealth’s IT operations that call for automated penetration testing.

If you'd like to learn how security testing can dramatically improve the effectiveness of a wide number of programs, I’d get up early for this one

David Stender, Associate Chief Information Officer for Cyber Security and CISO for the Internal Revenue Service, will also be a part of that presentation and later that morning (10:40 am, same location) Bob is taking part in a panel of government IT security leaders that addresses “Achieving Greater Cyber Security in the States.”

Going Deep on Infrastructure Security

In an event that is already drawing significant interest from RSA attendees and the media – based in part on recent news of the hacking of the U.S. electrical grid, and a recognition that the Obama Administration considers U.S. critical grid cyber-security a pressing issue – our Vice President of Security Awareness, Tom Kellermann, will be hosting what should be a fascinating panel on infrastructure and SCADA security issues, also on Thursday morning.

On the “Physical Security” track, the event, dubbed “Securing Critical Networks: Infrastructure Exposed” (9:10 am, Purple Room 307) will feature a group of participants with incredible insight into the challenges that the U.S. faces in this realm.

Joining Tom, who played a key role in the development and authoring of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report, “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency,” are a collection of leading security and policy experts.

Panelists will include Michael Assante, CSO for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which is driving regulation of IT security in the electrical industry, along with Jerry Dixon, a former director at US-CERT who currently works for Team CYMRU, Marcus Sachs, Executive Director for National Security Policy at consulting giant Verizon Business, and Matthew Luallen, Co-Founder of Encari, an infrastructure security specialist.

Tom will also likely be speaking to a number of media members about Hathaway’s own presentation on Wednesday (2 pm, Hall D) which will deliver the details of “The Obama Administration’s Cyberspace Policy Review.”

I think it’s fair to say that Hathaway’s decision to offer the first results of that review there on site at RSA speaks volumes about the relevance of the show, and the growing recognition that IT security is indeed a major issue that all Americans need to be concerned about – something that many of the people who attend RSA for years have been pointing out for years.

We hope to see you there. It should be as fun, educational and exhausting as ever.

I know I can’t wait.

-Matt Hines, Chief Blogger



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