I'm sitting at the desk in my 28th floor room at the W Hotel in San Francisco. Unusually I have a window in front of the desk giving a fine view of the Bay Bridge and Oakland beyond. Across the block is the Moscone centre where I will be spending the next five days at RSA Conference 2009.
It will be attended by thousands of information security professionals and IT security vendors. It's the biggest conference of its kind in the world.
However despite the attendance I can guarantee that none of the attendees will match the style of the the people I met at the Milan IDC Security Conference two weeks ago. For once those in jeans were in the minority as suits (and well-cut ones at that) were the order of the day. Quite simply, the Italian security pros were the most stylish I have ever seen and put their British and American counterparts to shame.
Add in the fact that there was also far more women delegates in attendance and I can only concur that Italians do it better.
My contribution to this event was a 20 minute talk entitled IT Security 2.0: Meeting the challenge through smart thinking which was about the profession climbing out of the IT bunker and getting into bed with the business -- with some nods to IBM.
One way may be to start dressing better.The people of Milan have a natural elegance and style. The jarring notes I heard in the city centre came from loudmouth Brits and Americans trying to buy into an effortless look.
Style – you either have it or you don't. Enlightened security theory – now that can be learned at least.