Gone Fishin' at RSA Conference

Annual Pilgrimage to Security's Mecca

I apologize that I have not posted as many articles as I usually do this past month. For me this is like the accountants tax season, its RSA Conference time.  The RSA Conference and its satellite conferences start this Monday. For anyone in the security industry, RSA is like making the pilgrimage to Mecca. Virtually the entire industry gathers in San Francisco for the week to talk security, catch up old friends and make new ones.  The tracks and sessions are always top rate with the leaders of the industry presenting. With three speaking appearances myself this year, I have been in up to my eyeballs preparing.

Of course there is more to the week then RSA itself. Several high profile, high quality events have grown up around RSA and now make RSA week even better:

Americas Growth Captial Conference: One conference that I have been attending for years now is the Americas Growth Capital Conference. This is the 8th year for this excellent event sponsored by Maria Lewis Kussmaul and her great team at AGC. They are one of the leading investment banks specializing in the security industry. Each year CXOs of the leading security and emerging growth companies meet to present their companies, discuss industry trends and meet with potential investors.  The event is well attended every year but this year promises to be the biggest yet. According to AGC, 320+ private companies in the most exciting sectors of technology,150+ leading tech PE/VC funds, 800+ 1x1 meetings between top tech strategic buyers, private companies, and the top technology PE/VC funds and over 1,200+ attendees. This years conference is overlimit, so if you have not already registered, it is too late to attend.

In years past I have presented on behalf of companies I worked for, but this year I am chairing a great panel discussion with some of the leading CEOs in the industry. My panel is: Cloud Security: It Takes a Village, or Does it?  Joining me are: 

Gray Hall, CEO, Alert Logic

Simon Crosby, Founder and CTO, Bromium

Gary Fish, Founder, President and CEO, FishNet Security

Don Gray, Chief Security Strategist, Solutionary

Jay Chaudhry, Founder and CEO, Zscaler

Security BSidesSF: Over the last few years the BSides unconference series has taken the security space by storm. It started just out in Las Vegas when a few folks who were not accepted to present at the annual Black Hat conference staged their own conference nearby. That was followed by a BSides at the nex RSA Conference. Since then BSides has grown to have stand alone events around the world The RSA/San Fran BSides and Vegas BSides are still the biggest though.  It is a great place to see what is cutting edge in security, what real security people are up to and offers a very different feel and atmosphere to the very corporate RSA show. The speak agenda, presenters and topics for BSides are all top notch though. The Bsides show is at the Children's Creativity Museum, 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco and the cost is free (as always at BSides!). However, be warned registration is full for this one too and non-registered folks will be allowed in on a capacity basis.

I should also mention that I recently volunteered to become the sponsorship coordinator of BSides Las Vegas, so expect to see more about BSides and some of the great work they do in the secuirty space in upcoming blog posts!.  BSides is sponsor supported and staffed and run by an all volunteer force.  It is a pretty cool concept that borrows and feels a lot like the open source community.

Cloud Security Alliance Summit - This is the 2nd or 3rd year that the CSA has held a Summit on Monday of RSA Week right in the Moscone Center.I was at the first meeting when the CSA was launched and have stopped by in subsequent years. The RSA Conference folks have helped the CSA to become the de facto standard for cloud security standards. They CSA has put forth some great matrices, guidelines and standards that have helped countless organizations navigate migrating to the cloud. The member list of companies in the CSA is just about anyone who has anything to do with cloud and cloud security. This year as in years past, there is a great line up of speakers and topics, as well as updates on the all of the great projects the CSA is sheparding. It is a must stop if you are interested in Cloud Security.

Parties, Parties, Parties - Did I mention the parties of RSA Week.  It seems every night there are at least 3 or 4 spectacular events going on. Between conference all day and party all night, RSA Week can wear down even the best of the security folk. But seeing and being seen at the high profile events and usually winding up at the W hotel bar is as much a part of RSA Week as walking the gigantic and sold out exhibit floor. I wanted to give a shout out to my own party that I help throw with some great people and friends every year. That is the Security Bloggers Meet up and Security Blogger Awards.  What started as a small gathering of some of us who blogged about security is now in its 6th year. A few years back we added the Social Security Blogger Awards to the event and it has grown into one of the staples of RSA week for bloggers, podcasters and the media.

In addition to the above I am appearing at two presentations at RSA Conference itself:

Thursday, March 1: Internet Access: Right or Privilege

Peter Eckersley, Technology Projects Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation will be debating Ira Winkler, President, Internet Security Advisors Group. Alan Shimel, Managing Partner, TheCISOGroup, has the daunting task of keeping this session under control!

Is Internet Access an inalienable right for individuals and organizations? Does net access come with responsibilities similar to driving a car, which failure to abide by can result in limiting or denying access entirely? The UN and other countries have called internet access a basic human right.  Is Internet Access a basic human right or a privilege to be earned and maintained by good behavior?


Rising to the Challenge of Vulnerability Management in an IPv6 World

Moderator: Alan Shimel Managing Partner, The CISO Group, LLC

Panelists: Tas Giakouminakis Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Rapid7

Tim Keanini, Chief Technology Officer, nCircle

HD Moore Chief Security Officer at Rapid7 & Chief Architect of Metasploit, Rapid7

Ron Gula Chief Executive Officer & Chief Technical Officer, Tenable Network Security, Inc.

Misha Govshteyn VP, Emerging Products

In addition to all of the above, I have a full schedule of interviews and briefings with many different security companies, including some who are using or developing open source as part of the business model. I will be reporting from RSA and these other events all week, so stand by as it should be an exciting week. 

If you are attending RSA drop me a line, maybe we can meet up for coffee or another beverage. If not I will do my best to keep you in the know. 

See you on the other side!

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