RSA Conference 2015

At the time of writing I am in one of my favourite bars (Jack’s Cannery in San Francisco) looking back on another successful RSA Conference. How can I deem that it is successful? Well I got here, met old friends and made new ones, saw some great talks and got what I hope is some pretty good content for the day job website.

Of course the biggest news of the week regards the day job, with me announcing that I’ll be departing Eskenzi PR from my job as editor of IT Security Guru which has been fantastic, and I have never regretted turning down positions at more established titles to take back in summer 2013, to shift to 451 Research where I will be working from mid May.

I have had plenty of opportunities to announce this and it was hard to keep quiet, but the response has been fantastic. I’ve also had 3 common questions, mostly when do I leave/start, and what will I be covering? The answers in order: Friday 23rd April, Monday 18th May and “I don’t know yet”.

Little to say about the upcoming job apart from the team seem fantastic and I got a great welcome at an event in San Francisco this week. For the old job, I wouldn’t have left apart from for the right position and I’m leaving a fantastic team who I hope will remain friends.

I’ve done security journalism for close to seven years now and while I am not bored of it, the prospect of a change was great. In my time I’ve met plenty of great people and been fortunate to cover some great stories and research. I won’t hear anything about journalism being a dying profession, that is for another blog, but in the hands of the likes of Brian Krebs, Tom Fox-Brewster, Dan Goodin, John Leyden and Darren Pauli, security journalism is in a very good state.

As I started off by saying, this all took place during RSA Conference, the global gathering of security’s finest minds at the Moscone Center. This was my third visit to the conference, the previous two falling in my previous guise at SC Magazine in 2011 and 2013. To bring IT Security Guru here was a pleasure, I did submit talks to both RSA and its counterpart BSides SF, but with so many fantastic minds in town I am not surprised to have failed to make the cut.

The week started well with a comfy flight in via Calgary and a decent and cheap hotel. I’ll pass over the fact that my phone ceased to work and I was forced to buy a Mini SIM adaptor to use my 2009 era iPhone as my device of choice. In fact I’m writing this blog on it!

BSides was good fun with some good people, free bagels and plentiful coffee – by failing to buy a ticket in time I was advised to turn up at 8am and see if I could get in. No such problems with the jet lag and I got a good portion of the day in, and met with my new team in the evening before heading to the annual cocktail fest of TongaCON at the Fairmont.

RSA, for those who have not been, is a global gathering of IT security minds and since I last came, has switched its opening keynote speaker, branched its expo hall into two halls, and put its speaking and press rooms into new places. I’m not going to complain, everything was easy to navigate and kudos to the organisers and press team for an excellent job well done.

The coverage is likely across the Internet, and I hope I was at the best sessions (about 15 go on at any one time) so it takes some prior judgement to make sure you’re at the best ones.

RSA is also known for its social gatherings and I attended what I could with busy days and early starts, and I’ll pass the best party of the week to the bug gathering under the highway organised by Alert Logic, Barracuda Networks and Bugcrowd.

With my employment coming to an end officially on Friday morning, I’ll spend my last few hours writing the final interviews up, and pass control of IT Security Guru back to the team. Treat it well, a lot of hours have gone into making this great.


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