RSA Recap Day 4

To be honest, my session schedule today absolutely flopped. The first session discussion the need to be agile and responsive to business needs was good. After that, it went downhill pretty fast. I decided to skip the next session to connect with one of my vendors at an offsite location. Because my voicemail was acting up, I wound up missing him because I couldn’t load the message. I am still not sure why I had the problem.

I returned to the conference to listen in on a session describing the tools organized cyber criminals used. It was interesting and the speaker was entertaining, but it ended early. Then there was lunch and I caughht a session where a fo rmere boss was the speaker.

The first three keynotes were a little flat. I’m looking to be inspired by the keynotes and I just wasn’t getting that. I got a brief history of cyber crime, a technological morality tale, and technical description of Intel’s new architecture. They were interesting but not inspiring.

The final keynote made up for the lack of inspiration. The speaker was Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. He was an engaging, entertaining, and energetic speaker. Listening to how he started his project with the objective to solve a very specific and unique need and seeing how it involved into a revolutionary new way to educate was spectacular. While it was not necessarily related to INFOSEC, it served as an example of the kind of thing we need to do in our industry. We need to take a serious look at how we approach the issue of security and compliance to better support our organizations and customers. Sal’s story is a good source of inspiration.

So, the sessions and keynotes were a little disappointing. Does this mean that the day was a bust? No, not by a long shot. This was my best networking day by far just by striking up conversations with others who were striking out on the session front. I got to talk metrics with a couple of fine gentlemen from Yuma County, CA. I also got a chance to participate in a hallway conversation regarding cybercrime with a senior official from the FBI cyber crime division. I was also able to talk about INFOSEC challenges to the military with an officer with the US Cyber Command. Turned out that we had both been stationed in Japan. Talk about a small world. Networking is one of the best parts of the RSA Conference. If you don’t meet at least 5 new people, you’re doing it wrong.

I am taking off Friday morning so conference is over. I’ll have no more recaps of the conference. However, the conference has given me a lot to think about and seeded some crazy ideas. As those ideas develop, I will flesh them out here.

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