The Tech Herald

Live! RSA Conference 2009 - Day 4

by Steve Ragan - Apr 23 2009, 20:58

Welcome to day four of the RSA Conference 2009. For the second consecutive year, The Tech Herald will be bringing you daily coverage of the latest security trends and news, live from the conference floor.

09:45 PST

'You’ve been Pwned: News at 11'. That’s the title of the talk given by two notable lawyers; Jennifer Granick and Randy Sabett. Granick is the Civil Liberties Director for the EFF. While Sabett himself is important in the business world and, as a teacher, of the two, Granick is known for her work with hackers and researchers.

The talk was great and, opening the floor to debate, the entire 50-minute session was spent talking about the legal and moral issues with vulnerability research and disclosure. The only downside to this talk was that it was at eight in the morning, leaving the room almost empty thanks to the previous night's wide range of RSA-related parties. That, and it was only 50 minutes.

A topic this important to the security world is hard to cover with such a short window. Yet, Granick and Sabett did a great job using what time they were allowed to the fullest.

Speaking of parties, there were several of them last night. Myself, I was fortunate enough to represent The Tech Herald at the Security Blogger’s Meet-up, which was an awesome chance to meet some of the security world’s biggest names. There’s no shame in admitting that I was left a little awestruck.

Today is the final day for the expo floor. There are still a decent amount of people wandering around and watching the various presentations at the booths. However, most of the vendors I’ve spoken to are telling me that attendance is down. So much so that some of them wonder if there was genuine value in attending.

I asked various RSA Conference staff members what the attendance numbers for this year were, and was told that the final attendance numbers will be released some time late next week. However, based on what I saw here last year, there is a clear drop in the amount of people present in 2009.

There are several reasons for this. One is the cost to present at RSA -- the booth space isn’t cheap ($1,300 USD for an Internet connection to the booth, and the booth space ranges in from the tens of thousands to a quarter or half a million, so I’m told). Also, some vendors told me they are re-evaluating the actual need to have a presence at any conference, so it isn’t just RSA that's seeing a slight dip in attendance.

The interaction on the expo floor this week has been mostly B2B. Vendors who sell to, or work on developing solutions for other vendors. NEI, for example, is seeing a huge growth in potential new business. However, straight-line vendors, those who offer anti-Virus or gateway appliances to protect the network, are seeing smaller amounts of leads when compared to last year.

Starting next week, The Tech Herald will recap RSA Conference-related news and begin an initiative of offering details on the vendors we’ve spoken to.

There are a few meetings scheduled for today, however most of the final day on the floor will be spent networking and talking to as many vendors as possible. If there is a company in attendance this year and you want to know more about it, leave us a comment and we will check it out for you.

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The Tech Herald: Live! RSA Conference 2009 - Day 3

The Tech Herald: Live! RSA Conference 2009 - Day 2 (Update)

The Tech Herald: Live! RSA Conference 2009 - Day 1

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