RSA Conference 2009 – A View from the Edges
April 20, 2009 Leave a comment
By the time you read this, I will likely be jetting across the fruited plain on my way to my fourth RSA Conference. I walked into my first RSA in 2005 after being on the job at Cybertrust for just about 5 weeks and having to do a really rapid immersion into the IT security world. I remember being taken back by the amount of noise, the amount of often confusing messaging, and the disparity between the large, highly elaborate booths in the middle of the show versus the small modest booths at the edges of the exhibit hall.
Cybertrust was in the second tier of booths just below the usual suspects of Symantec, RSA, Microsoft and the like. We were complete with a large contingent of bright people and were organized by equally bright people who made all the moving parts work seamlessly and kept me hopping between the media and the analysts. Through three years Cybertrust had a great run at RSA, winning best of show in 2006 with our “Diagnose, Then Prescribe” theme and finishing our run (Cybertrust was acquired by Verizon Business in July 2007) with one of those cool booths with the meeting area on the top.
This year I return in a decidedly smaller booth that was designed, organized and will be ultimately constructed by me. This has led me to tell more than one events person who worked for me in the past that I have come to realize that they were underpaid (most said they already knew).
But there is something exciting about bringing Triumfant to RSA as one of the smaller companies on one of the outer aisles on the exhibit floor. Because with all due respect to the people in those big elaborate booths in the middle of the show, I have always thought that the real innovations at RSA could be found in the booths on the edges. Of course, now that I am one of those booths I have a newfound conviction.
A lot has changed since my first RSA in 2005. The big malware of 2005 turned out to be Zotob which would ultimately emerge in August of that year. Compare Zotob in contrast to the current “it” malware, Conficker. In 2005, Symantec was announcing that they had written 69,107 new signatures in 2004, versus the 1.6 million they just announced for 2008. In 2005 malware was growing in sophistication, but nothing like the multi-layer attacks of today. And of course today these new attacks come from organized and well funded groups of cyber criminals. And certainly the economy in 2005 was a lot better than what we are seeing today.
But in spite of these changes, I think that you will see pretty much more of the same from those big booths in the middle of the exhibit hall. It will be exquisitely messaged, highly stylized, and slickly delivered more of the same, but it will still be more of the same. In this RSA – like the RSA shows before it – it may do you a world of good to walk to the outer aisles of the hall and look toward some of the smaller booths featuring smaller companies that may have some big technology and innovative thinking. The presentation may be a bit less elaborate, but the innovation may be something quite important and critical to your future IT security strategy.
And do stop in to see us in booth 2535 while you are on the edges. We can show you a demonstration of the latest release of our product where we detect, analyze and remove malicious code and a secondary payload from that code all in the course of about 3 minutes without the need for signatures, prior knowledge of the attack or any human intervention. Or if you have read my recent posts, the time in which Symantec must write 9 signatures to keep up with the malicious code growth rates they cited in their recent report.
See you on the edges.