Editorial: Welcome to a regenerated city

Opinion by Paul Fisher

There is a clear message to be taken from the decision to bring the previously itinerant RSA Conference Europe to a new and permanent home in London.

There is a clear message to be taken from the decision to bring the previously itinerant RSA Conference Europe to a new and permanent home in London.

The information security profession in Europe is growing up and has reached a pivotal phase in its development. It needs a heavyweight annual conference that both reflects the aspirations and needs of those people now taking their rightful place in the corporate pantheon.

In some ways it is a brave step to come to London. Anyone who lives in the capital knows the trials that its road and rail systems can bring to bear on daily life and, of course, it is frighteningly expensive and huge. Yet London is, without a doubt, the leading business city in Europe and certainly the most vibrant. It is also currently in an exciting cycle of renewal and regeneration. It is fitting that the RSA Conference, which has a history of innovation, should choose London to begin the next chapter in its development.

MessageLabs is another UK success story and is gearing up to move to the next level. It has already put in place a major chunk of its strategy by appointing a heavyweight CEO in the form of Adrian Chamberlain. He comes from what might be called the old-school corporate sector, but bored with life in that world, Chamberlain was attracted by the challenge and potential of MessageLabs, a dwarf in comparison to the worlds of BT and Cable & Wireless he had previously inhabited.

He was recruited by the founders in 2006. You can find out more about what has happened since, his plans for the future and the thoughts of founder Jos White (and Chamberlain's boss) on page 24. They make quite a formidable team.

The full emergence of RFID into the public's consciousness can only be a matter of time. There have already been a few murmurings about consumers being "spied" on in their homes as supermarket chains start tagging products. As yet, it's hard to find anyone who genuinely believes RFID poses much of a threat to our way of life. Mark Mayne looks at the real impact of RFID and the technology behind it in Follow the chip, starting on page 28.

MSSPs as a breed are put under a microscope in Barry Mansfield's Find the perfect partner, starting on page 34. For many businesses, especially smaller enterprises, putting the security function out to tender has many attractions - not least taking the technical responsibility away. But there are pitfalls, and there are some questions businesses need to ask to get the best from MSSPs.

SC welcomes a new face this month: Tim Mather, chief security strategist for RSA Conferences. He will be a regular guest columnist, bringing his opinion and thought from Silicon Valley. He kicks off this month with a sideways and - for the UK - timely, take on the introduction of Apple's iPhone on page 66.

Finally, there is still time to register for the SC PCI Conference on 14 November. Interest has been such that it has been moved to a bigger venue. For more information, please go to www.haymarketevents.com/conferences/


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