Friday, April 24, 2009

Quips and Comments - RSA Conference 2009

I just returned from the RSA Conference in San Francisco where the focus was on cloud security, identity theft, data protection, and online fraud prevention. The Expo floor was busy, with lots of foot traffic and a higher-than-expected level of energy. Especially from the guy who escaped a straightjacket while balancing atop a high-rise unicycle and pitching a security product. We all have to multi-task.

More than half of my meetings were in hotel suites and other locations away from the Moscone Center. Power-walking between venues, it took me a while to realize that the biz-hipsters in hair gel and rock-star sunglasses were not the new wave in computer security--they were from the AdTech conference in the Moscone Center West. Yes, geeks, infosec is still in our hands.

The "gubment" was there--in the towering National Security Agency booth/condo. They could neither confirm nor deny jamming my iPhone.

More seriously, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was interviewed during the week on CBS News about cyber-spying. It's worth noting that the same basic techniques are used by spies stealing government secrets and crimeware operators stealing consumer identities. If the government cannot stop spies from stealing secret plans for our latest fighter planes or infiltrating presidential campaigns, what chance do ordinary citizens have protecting their bank accounts?

I'd like to thank Neil Rubenking, PC Magazine Lead Analyst and AppScout contributor, for taking the time to meet with us, talk about SafeCentral 2.0 and post his observations on AppScout.

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