This week has been dominated by one theme – the Infosecurity Europe exhibition. For those of you who made it along to one of the three days at Earls Court, apparently you accounted for the five per cent rise in footfall with 12,445 visitors reported.
Now I anticipate that many of SC Magazine's website readers will have attended the show, so I won't use this as a step-by-step diary of what happened. This is mainly because most of my time was spent either in meetings, in the press office, or in meetings in the press office, but it did give me the opportunity to meet with well known brands and vendors, and some of the new kids on the block.
It has been said in festival environments that you need to head to the outskirts to capture the real treasure, and one company that caught the eye was Palo Alto. Part of the US Pavilion on the left hand side of the floor, this was their first move into the UK market – and what an announcement it was, with floor-walking ladies with placards and the stand staff's t-shirts bearing the phrase ‘the firewall is dead'.
I caught up with the director of corporate and field marketing Franklyn Jones, who claimed that as employees are getting on to banned sites via proxy servers, it for this reason that the company believes that the firewall is becoming obsolete.
Jones said: “We believe enterprises have added proxies because the firewall doesn't work anymore.”
The first meeting I did, as part of a power breakfast/speed dating event with Lewis PR, was with Absolute Software, where over a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich marketing manager EMEA Brenda Robb explained that it was launching a sourcing device for lost or stolen laptops for the consumer market,
Previously offered to the trade, its Computrace product had licensed the name ‘LoJack' from the technology that provides software to source stolen and lost cars in North America. The theft recovery and data protection service uses software to track, locate and recover stolen laptop and desktop computers.
Later on in the same day, I attended a presentation by IBM ISS about its launches the previous week at the RSA exhibition in San Francisco. Among several launches was the Proventia Endpoint Secure Control that features technology from BigFix.
During the presentation, Rob Lamb, vice president, worldwide sales and marketing for ISS, claimed that one product does not solve all threats, and that “people are treating security like Lego, they are building solutions according to the threat and creating a sprawling mess.”
Perhaps with his knowledge that other vendors were out of audible range, Lamb was obviously entitled to his opinion but it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of other vendors – if your setup is not aesthetically pleasing does it matter?
On the other hand, and this was a common theme of the many meetings I did over the course of the show, it was stressed that the intention should be to be proactive rather than reactive.
As for the common trends of the show, the theme of the cloud that had dominated RSA was not so present during Infosec. A meeting with Qualys chairman and CEO Philippe Courtot led him to tell me that ‘the future of security is in the cloud' and that the industry ‘had been slow to realise that'.
I also discussed the cloud with Matt Moynahan, president and CEO of Veracode, who taught me the difference between binary and source code, and claimed that there is the possibility for hacking to occur in the cloud, but with software such as theirs there would be scanning beforehand.
Talking along a similar line was Fortify, whose vice president EMEA Richard Kirk, talked about its ‘software security assurance.' He claimed that this was the ability to detect and measure the risk inside an application, and asked if security managers ‘were aware of what their security was doing while they were not paying attention.'
As for the most common trend – slush puppies. Lots of them, thanks to ScanSafe, Sophos and Shavlik (what is it with the letter S?) for their liquid donations and everyone else who donated merchandise into the hands and bags of the SC team. Although we failed to win any of the various prizes on offer or get a free phone from BlackBerry, we'll be back next year to try again.