Feb 26 2012
The RSA Conference is one of the most stressful times of year for me, as well as for thousands of other security professionals who descend on the Moscone Center every year. It’s great to see all the friends that you may only see at RSAC because your paths don’t cross otherwise, as well as the friends you haven’t seen since some other event. But to make that possible, there’s thousands of moving parts that have to all align properly or chaos ensues. In my own case, I’m wearing three hats this year (press, speaker and vendor) and making them all work together has been difficult. I think I’ve spent more time in the last month preparing for RSAC than I’ll actually spend at RSAC.
I’m glad to say that my employer, Akamai, agrees that the work I do podcasting is important enough that it takes first priority on my time at the convention, followed closely by my speaking engagements. I still have work responsibilities and it’s possible you’ll find me in booth #851 from time to time, but mostly my co-workers will be taking care of booth duty for me. Thursday morning I’ll be doing an Akamai webinar with Andy Ellis (@csoandy) live from RSAC, where we’ll, among other things, rate some of the tchotchkies we find at the show. If you see some really interesting giveaways, stop by the booth. I think we’ll be giving away coffee.
I’m speaking 3 times this week, twice on panels, once by myself at BSidesSF. We’ve got a lot of new data for the stress panel, which I’m sure preparations for RSAC will leave people empathizing with. The Data Mining panel should be interesting, because I fully admit I’m the new kid on the block, with the least experience with data mining of anyone on the panel; I’m there primarily to learn. And my Fundamental Flaws talk seems to be resonating with a lot of people, so I’ll be giving that at BSides on Tuesday.
Then there’s the interviews I have scheduled. This is not an exhaustive list, but I think it’ll cover most of my interviews: Good Harbor, Abaca, Dell Secureworks, Sophos, Adam Shostack from New School of Security, VSS, Checkpoint, and a few others. In fact, I should probably add double-checking my calendar to the to-do list for today. I’ll be getting a couple of these out Monday-Thursday, with any stragglers coming the week after RSAC. The microcasts I do at RSAC are a lot of fun and introduce me to some interesting people and companies.
Finally, there’s the parties. I’m helping put on the Security Bloggers Meetup again this year, though Jennifer Leggio does most of the real work. I’ve been nominated for a couple of Social Security Awards as well, for Best Podcast and Best Blog Post, so wish me luck on those. Akamai has a small party, then there’s the dozens of other parties that are going on, primarily on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. And we can’t forget the Securosis Recovery Breakfast on Thursday morning. I will be attempting to drink lightly this week, since I’m going as a company representative for once, rather than having to take time off to attend.
So it’ll be a busy week. Somewhere amongst the chaos, I need to find a little time to walk the showroom floor as well as socialize. Looking at the slim gaps in my calendar, that’s going to be catch as you can. By Friday, you’ll see thousands of very tired security professionals streaming out of San Francisco and SFO. I’m lucky, I get to drive home Friday night, though I’m hopping on a plane again the Monday after.