Thales Blog

Becoming Reacquainted With Alice And Bob Getting To Know Crypto Again

February 15, 2011

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It’s that time of year again when everyone and anyone from the security community converges in San Francisco for RSA 2011. Looking at the programme, this year’s show is set to be somewhat of a renaissance. Alice and Bob are back on centre stage!

There are probably a significant proportion of delegates attending RSA this year that are younger than Alice and Bob, who were first used as cryptography characters in the 70s. Alice and Bob haven’t always been at the forefront of the show so it is very interesting to see that RSA will be returning to its cryptographic roots this year.

The fact that the RSA Conference is placing so much emphasis on cryptography demonstrates the critical role that it still has in data security, more than 20 years on from Alice and Bob’s first adventures, as chronicled by Ron Rivest. Amid the glitz of the RSA Conference, the fancy product packages and the alluring graphical UIs of wares on show, it is easy to forget the mathematics, ciphers and protocols underpinning our data security. But we neglect them at our peril.

More and more organisations need to protect an ever growing volume of data, making encryption and key management a mainstay on the security agenda. The security community needs to keep pace with the evolving threats while at the same time remaining strong and keeping true to its roots. Turning the spotlight on Alice and Bob (and now Mallory too) is only a good thing for advancing the industry.

Thales is at this year’s show so please do stop by booth #2023 to see us.