My day at the RSA Conference 2008 (Part Two)…

The other night, or was it early morning, I started a series about my day at the RSA Conference.  In part one, I gave a brief overview about Microsoft's Sterling announcement, and posted some pictures.  In this post, I want give more insight into what I thought about the conference and review some of companies/technologies that I saw. The ConferenceOverall, I have mixed feelings about my experiences at the RSA Conference.  While I liked getting out of the basement to go to the conference, it seemed more like a trade show (+ networking party) vs. a chance to really learn something.  I'm sure the security gods (or fanboy masses) will haunt me to my grave for that last comment.  But, interestingly enough, I'm not alone in my tarnished opinion of the RSA Conference.  Friends of mine (security geeks like me), that have gone in past years, also hold similar opinions.  Like me, they feel the conference has gone from security geeks sharing info with other security geeks to something that resembles a large product placement bonanza.

Maybe I'm wrong to make that statement... after all, I only went to one session, and only partly attended two keynotes.  Attempting to purchase the full package for several thousand (pricey) was out of my budget.  On that note... one of the more bothersome things while trolling the floor was that it seemed like there were a lot of companies doing the same exact thing.  So either they all hired the same marketing group or the industry is due for some house cleaning.  Needless to say, it's all very madding to see the same bloody catch phrases over and over again.

But... it wasn't all a letdown.  From a trade show perspective there was a lot to look at (even if a number of companies were doing similar things).  Additionally, I got to talk to a lot of really great people and even meet up with a bunch of people that I have worked with over the years.  So... many thanks to Scott for getting me out and about!

Interesting ThingsFrom the floor, there were several notable things (companies or technologies) that caught my eye.  The first one is called Splunk.  They have a strange name, but an interesting concept.  Basically, their solution (Splunk) is an IT search tool that is designed to index data from a number of different sources.  Err... isn't that just search.  Well, not when the base software and growing number of community driven add-ons make up to a finely tuned data correlation (searching, reporting, alerting, etc) machine.  Just image... taking silos of IT related data and being able to stitch the data together, thus allowing you to perform such things as compliance reporting, threat analysis, end-to-end troubleshooting... its a long list.  The thing that really got me going with this solution is that it's a free download...  Nice!

The second item that caught my eye was a company called Workshare.  These guys basically do content protection.  Without getting into too much detail, their solution is what ADRMS should have been.  For example:

  • Real central policy management
  • Integration with PDF
  • Content analysis
  • Gateway and mobile email control
  • Hehe... real reporting!

Looking forward to playing with both solutions.

Next PostWell... that's all for today.  There were some more products I wanted to talk about.  But, I want to vet them some more.  So... I'm guessing for my next post I'll finish up that discussion.  Additionally, I have another post that I plan on doing about some strangeness that I saw going down on the Mozilla boards around the addition of a trusted root CA.  Lastly, I do still plan on playing with the Sterling beta.  Just have to find the time.  Cheers!

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