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Blogging from RSA: Collaborate to innovate – it’s a security revolution! (again)

March 2, 2010

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That’s right…time for opening keynotes at the RSA Conference 2010.You’ve got to feel for the girls singing The Bangles’ less well known track “Roll Out Some Encryption” at 08:00 but they woke everyone up and kicked off the show nicely. There is a a heavy focus on Cloud at this year’s event, as you’d expect, and Art Coviello’s call for the industry to pull together to secure this new wave in IT is well made.

Cloud computing was a focus in 2009 as well and most of the statements and calls are not new. However, among the hype, there were some interesting new developments to consider. IT security really is making it to the forefront of business thinking in a much bigger way than before for example, a report by CIO Magazine, suggests that 51% of CIOs fear migrating to the cloud due to security concerns. Furthermore, the U-Prove demonstration from Scot Charney shows that long-standing ideas can come off: Identity Metasystem has long been an interest of mine and it’s nice to see federated claims-based ID really getting somewhere. That kind of technology is a key enabler to Cloud whichever way you choose to deploy it.

The Cryptographer’s panel showed a little new flavour as well with usual ‘guest cryptographer’ Bruce Schneier replaced by Brian Snow, former tech director of NSA IAD. Much to-and-fro and “my cryptographer’s bigger than your cryptographer” ensued between NSA and the public crypto researchers – fun for all though I’m not sure how much we learned. There was an interesting contrast too with cryptographers very much downplaying the Cloud after all the hype from the previous speakers. But who will prove to be right in 5 years’ time?

Ultimately, a safe but enjoyable start to the conference proper. Here’s hoping that some new material is on the cards during the rest of the event.