RSA Conference Europe 2012 Preview

Feature

Once again RSA Conference Europe has pulled it out of the bag with an impressive line-up of keynote speakers - including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales - and a schedule of tracks and sessions that reflect the industry's most pressing issues.

Once again RSA Conference Europe has pulled it out of the bag with an impressive line-up of keynote speakers – including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales – and a schedule of tracks and sessions that reflect the industry's most pressing issues.

The autumn's most important and comprehensive forum in the UK information security calendar, RSA Conference Europe, will be returning to the London Hilton Metropole from Tuesday 9 October to Thursday 11 October. In its 13th year, RSA Conference Europe is well known for driving the information security agenda worldwide. It is a focal point where attendees can learn about the latest trends, gain insight into the most critical issues facing the industry today, as well as network with information security's best and brightest.

There are 11 tracks and more than 70 sessions to match the information and learning needs of delegates. This year's tracks reflect changes in the industry that continue to grow in importance and influence, such as ‘Breaking Research', ‘Identity and Access Management' and ‘Mobile Security'.

RSA Conference is famous for putting together the most exciting and provocative line-up of keynote speakers, and attendees won't be disappointed this year either.

This year's speaker highlights
The closing keynote this year, delivered by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, is titled ‘Democracy and the Internet' (Thursday, 11 October). Freedom of speech and the distribution of knowledge is the foundation of Wikipedia. Wales predicts that the internet will democratise developing countries by making the world “flat”, opening markets, promoting cultural understanding and giving developing nations the resources they need to compete in the 21st century.

With the current total internet usage of one billion people set to double in the next five to 10 years (with the majority of new users arising from developing nations), Wales asserts that the internet will combat stereotypes, censorship, media control and monopolies, while simultaneously allowing citizens of developing nations to have a more prominent voice. As Wales states: “It does not take a lot of technology to foster open dialogue and debate. Even the simplest technologies such as mailing lists, wikis and blogs can help a lot. What is needed most, I think, is more content in local languages, and support from people around the world to help others join in the global conversation.”

Misha Glenny, investigative journalist and author, is one of the world's leading experts on cyber crime and global mafia networks. He wrote about his investigations in the recently published Dark Market, and will deliver his keynote, titled: ‘The Struggle for Control of the Internet' (Wednesday, 10 October). “The genius of the internet lies in its interconnectedness. But this is also its Achilles' heel: everyone wants to take control of it at the expense of everyone else,” he says.

“Our dependency on network systems is growing, but our resilience is not keeping up. Law enforcers, spies and the military now believe it is central to their security strategies. So do criminals, terrorists and hacktivists. Where does this leave the citizen?”

Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at BT, will be returning to the keynote sessions at RSA Conference Europe to talk about ‘Trust, Security and Society' (Wednesday, 10 October). “Human societies run on trust. Every day, we all trust millions of people, organisations and systems – and we do it so easily that we barely notice. But in any system of trust, there is an alternative, parasitic strategy that involves abusing that trust,” he says.

“Ensuring that defectors don't destroy the very cooperative systems they're abusing is an age-old problem. So society has developed a variety of pressures to induce cooperation: moral systems, reputational systems, institutional systems and security systems. Understanding how these different societal pressures work – and fail – is essential to understanding the problems we face in today's increasingly technological and interconnected world.”

Bring your own device will be hot on the agenda this year, with both RSA and Qualys touching on it in their sponsor keynotes. Art Coviello, executive vice president of EMC and executive chairman of RSA, The Security Division of EMC, will discuss how an intelligence-driven security model that evaluates risk, security spend allocation and the skills of the security team can enable businesses to get ahead of new threats.

Other keynotes will be delivered by Symantec, Microsoft and Akamai Technologies.

Hot topics and trends
It has been an eventful year in information security and this year's agenda reflects how dynamic our industry has become. One of the hottest topics is mobile security. “Businesses and researchers have both taken a keen interest in mobile security this year,” says Dr. Hugh Thompson, programme committee chairman of RSA Conference. “We've had more innovative submissions on mobile this year than ever.” In addition to the mobile security track, you'll find sessions on BYOD security, mobile malware and mobile device security peppered throughout the agenda.

Another hot topic this year is Big Data analytics. Can we get smarter about threats by mining internal data in new ways? Can we anticipate attacks by monitoring information outside the network perimeter? These questions and others will be dissected and hotly debated at this year's conference. You'll also find sessions on topics such as cloud security, advanced threats, forensics, collaborative defence and more.

Here is a selection of sessions that are not to be missed:

  • The Science Lab: Live RAT Dissection (Tuesday, 9 October, 1pm)
  • No Followers? No Botnet? No Problem! Asymmetric Denial of Service Attacks (Tuesday, 9 October, 2.10pm)
  • Ten Reasons Not to Virtualise: The Security Perspective – When should you say no to virtualisation? (Wednesday, 10 October, 2.10pm)
  • Cyber Jihad vs Cyber Terrorism – Separate hacking hype from reality (Wednesday, 10 October, 1pm)
  • Defending Behind the Device – Why mobile application risks really matter (Thursday, 11 October, 8.40am)
  • Me and My Digital Shadow: Protecting and Detecting on the Social Web – How safe is your social web use? (Wednesday, 10 October, 3.30pm)
  • Unmasking Administrator's Evil – What might happen if your guru suddenly goes? (Wednesday, 10 October, 4.40pm).

RSA CONFERENCE EUROPE 2012: DETAILS

When 9-11 October 2012
Where Hilton London Metropole, 225 Edgware Road, London W2 1JU
Further information www.rsaconference.com/events/2012/europe/index.htm

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