Exposing the black side of security

I am always impressed when people host or put on anevent. Those who have never done it on a large scale have no idea howtremendously hard it is.

For Brian Bourne, long-time friend ofCDN and founder of CMSConsulting, the SecTor Conference is a labour oflove.

The show is entering its third year and will be once againhoused at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. SecTor stands forsecurity education conference Toronto and it brings together some ofthe brightest and, yes, darkest minds in theindustry.

That is what makes this showspecial. The kind of insight you may get from a hacker does not come byyour desk on a daily basis. SecTor delivers this kind of information,but with punch. These keynote speakers are not usually media trained orhave high priced speech writers coming up with dumb jokes to warm upthe crowd.

The people and sessions SecTordelivers has heart. The show is about education around defending anorganization's turf or prized assets such as itsdata.

The line up this year will have North America’s most trustedsecurity experts such as Michael Barrett,the Chief Information Security Officer of PayPal.

I can’t think of a better person to listen to about securityissues than the online payment processor's security chief. Paypal is the most used site for phishingscams. If I had a penny for every email I got warning meabout my Paypal account I would be amulti-millionaire.

Paypal has long held theinauspicious title of the Web’s most frequently spoofed phishingtarget. But this is serious business. The channel uses PayPal as amethod to process credit card payments from customers. However, it hasnever gained tremendous traction outside of the major e-tailers in thechannel. Joe Ussia, director of sales forDigica Solutionsof Toronto has the PayPal service but does not like to use itbecause it’s cumbersome.

“We triedusing it a couple of times and our customers couldn’t get it to work.As we looked deeper into it, there were some technology bugs thatPayPal claims they fixed since last month,” Ussiasaid.

That is the defensive side of the conference. Like I saidearlier, SecTor does a great job of telling the other side of security.

“Today’s organizations are at risk from increasinglysophisticated attacks; SecTor provides a stage where the best andbrightest can share their knowledge of both offensive and defensivetechnologies, allowing organizations to defend themselves and plan forthe next assault,” says HD Moore, founderof the Metasploit Project, who will also speak atthe conference.

SecTor 2009 will also present anelite selection of vendors, a special “Lockpick Village”, an EnterpriseDemo Lab, Microsoft ForeFront Hands on labs, and aHardware Hacking Village.

Bourne saysthat through illuminating the black art of security, proper corporatedefences can be mounted.

The conferencewill be taking place on Oct. 6 and the 7th and will also featureCanadian IT Security Awards.

Three quickhit before I go. As most of you already know JohnSwainson is retiring from CA. The Canadian, in myopinion, saved the company from impending doom five years ago. I can gointo that but I wont. What I appreciated about Swainson is that he tooktime for everyone. I saw him countless times shaking hands and talkingwith everyone on the show floor. That must have taken hours. He has hispilot's license and could zip to any destination which saved him lotsof time, he once told me. But as more company leaders begin to lockthemselves away in the corner office it was nice to see that someonestill appreciated customer business, channel support, and yes even thepress and let you know about. CDN wishes him thebest of luck in retirement.

Calgary'sAcceleware has hired Steve Reed to be itsnew business development manager for the energy sector. Reed comes fromHP.

D-Link Canadahas revamped its Web site with the channel in mind. The newsite www.dlink.ca willhave enhanced navigation tools along with an interactive graphicalinterface and network builder tools.

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