Cooling off at RSA 2009

It sure has been hot here in San Francisco at RSA Conference 2009.Hot enough to make you want to sit inside an air conditioned conventioncentre all day long.  Or go to a Giants ballgame and drink beers, whichworks too.

While speaking with several delegates over the course of the day,quite a few of them suggested that the Expo hasn’t been too hot. Manyare looking for that one new technology or approach which really getsthem excited, but they haven’t found it yet.  Now, my methods canhardly be called scientific, but that’s what some people are saying,and you should know about it.  The rough economy is a bit of a downertoo: some of the exhibition space is vacant, and people are saying thatattendance is down from past years.  There’s also a rumour that a lotof Expo passes were given out for free.

But that’s not to say that RSA is a bust.  The sessions are highquality, there is plenty of networking, and there are lots of businessand technology partnerships being formed.  And in my case, I did findthat one technology that got me excited.

This week, Qualys announced the upcoming release of PCI Connect,a framework which will allow PCI DSS security technologies to report oncompliance.  The PCI DSS is a minimum security standard by whichcompanies handling payment card data must adhere, yet compliance isoften determined using a self-certification checklist.  Generally,people agree that the self-certification checklist is a pretty weakguarantee of strong security practices around credit card data.  ViaPCI Connect, security tools will be able to report on the items on thechecklist, offering stronger, and more highly automated, proof ofcompliance.  I expect that PCI Connect, which is scheduled for releasein July 2009, will be warmly received by both security vendors andorganizations bound by PCI DSS.

Though RSA might be cooling off a bit, it’s still plenty warm for me.

Dave Morgan, Director of Privacy Research at Camouflage Software Inc.
Guest blogger for ComputerWorld Canada at RSA Conference 2009
Regular blogger for Cogitatio Privatim by Camouflage

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