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Secure World Expo, Lighter On Airlines, Same Tasty Content

This week???s Secure World Expo in Atlanta was an interesting show ??? the whole Secure World show model is to be a local show with national players. Companies and speakers were drawn from the local Atlanta area (for instance, local up-and-coming Lancope), but this didn???t prevent the show from having some pretty heavy content and relevant vendor booths. It definitely wasn???t huge, but it was nicely focused.
The presenters were also pretty good...
While I must make fun of any book entitled ???Hacking for Dummies,??? (what???s next? ???Brain Surgery for Dummies????) Kevin Beaver, the author, was at the show and did a very credible job of discussing WiFi security, recommending ways to avoid drive-bys, and talking about what you can do NOW to protect your WiFi network versus what???s going to be available soon.

The panels that I saw were kept honest by what Phil Agcaoili of Scientific Atlanta (both an independent speaker and a moderator) called ???the Gong effect???. Market-speak was kept to a minimum, mostly, when moderators like Phil (a non-vendor) reeled ???em in. Even one of the vendor panelists said reality-check stuff like ???none of this stuff is going to do 100% of what you want.??? (Of course, this was a guy with the most unlikely last name for engineer that I???ve ever heard, the Pivot Group???s Ed Sale.)

Infragard, the alliance between the FBI and private sector businesses, was there in force, as were other user groups such as the ISSA (the Information Systems Security Association), the NPA (Network Professional Association), and the IISFA (International Information Systems Forensics Association). Despite the overwhelming number of TLAs, business at these booths seemed to be brisk, with newcomers and battle-scarred veterans opining on various security topics.

Other stuff, overheard:

  • ???If we came up with a product that went beyond 80% of your needs in patch mgmt, would you pay for it???? --Panelist replying to a feature request of an audience member. (Uh, try me, man.)
  • ???I???m not so sure that IT should be acting like it???s HR.??? --Joe Culpano from SolSoft. (Well said! I myself have seen the burn marks from IT managers veering into HR turf!)
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