Apr 06 2008
Ah, RSA. An event that is equal part excuse to meet friends, endurance test and serious security exercise. It’s one of those events that I look forward to for months, while also dreading the exhaustion I know will set in by Thursday evening. Days are spent trying to find the nuggets of truth amongst the marketing propaganda while the nights are spent wandering from party to party, drinking the same companies’ alcohol. To put it bluntly, it’s both the best and worst parts of the security sphere.
I’ve got so many friends coming to town this week, many of which I only see at RSA. We’ve got the Security Bloggers Meetup Wednesday night, from which Rich and I will be streaming live video. There are several lunches, breakfasts and dinners with friends, as well as the chance meetings that happen every couple of steps on the showroom floor. And then there’s all the friends I just haven’t met yet that will be at RSA. If you’ve never guessed by reading the blog or listening to the podcast, I’m a social creature; I’m at my best in a crowd. I love the opportunity to reconnect with my existing friends as well as making new ones.
The endurance test comes in somewhere around Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Tuesday night is the first of the big parties, with everyone from Microsoft to Sourcefire to RSA themselves throwing parties and having dinners at every available venue within several blocks of the Moscone Center. I have nearly two dozen different invites for Tuesday night, only a fraction of which I can even try to make. I almost forgot about the speaker’s dinner, something I get to go to for the first time this ever. Wednesday night is the Security Bloggers Meetup, and if I make it through that I’m going to buy Jennifer Leggio (aka Mediaphyter) more than a few drinks for all her hard work in putting it together. But not so many that I miss my own panel, Avoiding the Security “Groundhog Day” (BUS-302) Thursday morning. A hearty dinner and lots of water should help a lot with that.
Rich and I will be ‘micropodcasting’ from the event. We’re going to post at least two short interviews each day, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. We’ll also be meeting for a recap each day to relate some of the more interesting technologies and people. The micropodcasts will be short, with a quick intro and outro, hopefully no more than five minutes apiece. They’ll be available in the same RSS feed as the main podcast, so if you’re subscribed in iTunes, you’ll be getting them already. And we’ll be streaming the video from the Security Bloggers Meetup, which is going to be episode 100 of the podcast. I’ll be posting the link for the live video stream right before the event on Wednesday. I’ve never done live streaming video before, so the thought of gremlins in the machines has me a little spooked.
I sometimes make fun of marketing/PR folks, but without them there would be no RSA event. Their efforts to sell security products, to gain attention for their companies, to talk to as many press/blogger/podcaster people as possible is what drives the security industry. There is a dark side to marketing and public relations, but I’d be an idiot to believe that the industry could survive one reporting cycle without them. But hopefully I can help see through some of the hyperbole and ask the questions that will get through to what these companies are really offering. I don’t want to hear “Our product will solve all your PCI problems, make your company secure and make you a sandwich while you get a well deserved rest!” I want to know what your can really do. And what you can do now, not with the next product release.
I’ll be twittering some, I’ll be blogging when I can and I’ll be reconnecting with friends as much as possible. RSA 2008 is going to be a blast. Friday, April 11th will be the crash afterwards.