RSA 2008

Bruce Schneier’s post about the recent RSA conference made me realize that my reaction to walking the exhibition hall may have been the norm. I have talked to enough security vendors to know that their basic message is constant: (1) security threats are extremely serious and rapidly growing problems, (2) their innovative solutions will render most of these threats harmless. What struck me was how intensely these two points were being delivered.

Imagine walking a huge exhibition floor housing multiple solutions to just about every security problem, listening to vendors review how serious the threats are, then being told multiple times that a particular solution is the most effective way to neutralize those threats. I can see why some attendees get shellshocked, and as Bruce observed, less likely to buy. I wasn’t there as a buyer, but the overall fervor was unusual enough that I relayed it to a few friends shortly after.

Because of schedule conflicts, I walked around on the fourth day of a five day conference and by then some vendors were probably aiming to book sales and identify prospects. Next year I’ll try to check out the exhibition hall earlier in the week.