RSA Confronts Cyber-Mafia

This year's RSA security conference aims to combat the 'cyber-mafia' and help users weigh security liability

February 15, 2005

2 Min Read
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Over 11,000 attendees are converging on the Moscone Center in San Francisco today for this years prohibition-themed RSA Conference.

Thankfully, this does not mean that data center managers and IT security vendors will be deprived of alcoholic beverages during this week’s event. Sandra Toms-LaPedis, vice president and general manager for the conference, told NDCF that each year RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS) works a historical theme into the IT industry’s annual security shindig.

This year’s conference is an homage to Elizabeth Friedman, a cryptanalyst who helped crack the codes used by booze smugglers in the 1920s. But, rather than dwelling on the past, this year’s conference will examine emerging security threats such as identity theft, which has prompted a flurry of activity during recent months (see Identity Management Heats Up).

As service providers and enterprise users look to deploy more and more security technology, blame and liability is a growing concern, according to Toms-LaPedis. As a result, this will be a major theme at the conference. “There is a lot about liability issues with respect to security products,” she says.

“If there is a virus or worm in place that could circumvent your security product, who is liable for that?” she asks. “Is it an issue for the firm that installed it or the manufacturer?”Toms-LaPedis says that conference attendees and exhibitors will also be examining threats posed by the new “cyber-mafia” -- a growing number of hackers that steal sensitive data, rather than breaching systems for the sheer hell of it. “There is a new generation of hackers,” she says. “How do you prevent them from getting access to your networks?”

The number of attendees expected for this year’s RSA event reflects the IT industry’s current obsession with all things security related. Numbers should be up on the 2004 RSA Conference, which brought in around 10,000 people, according to Toms-LaPedis.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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