Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

4/27/2009
02:06 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

RSA's Five Big Takeaways

Swag was scarce, attendee counts were down, and a few vendors opted not to exhibit this year, but last week's annual RSA Conference in San Francisco was still the obligatory get-together for security experts and vendors, sprinkled with loads of product and partner announcements and high-profile keynote speakers. The trouble with a show as large as the RSA Conference, of course, is that you can't see it all. So here's a synopsis of just some of the more memorable moments:

Swag was scarce, attendee counts were down, and a few vendors opted not to exhibit this year, but last week's annual RSA Conference in San Francisco was still the obligatory get-together for security experts and vendors, sprinkled with loads of product and partner announcements and high-profile keynote speakers.

The trouble with a show as large as the RSA Conference, of course, is that you can't see it all. So here's a synopsis of just some of the more memorable moments:Spooks Make Real News: Privacy paranoia has been rampant during the past few weeks after several high-ranking security officials have called for the National Security Agency (NSA) to be a major player in U.S. cybersecurity operations. But the NSA's director shot down that buzz, declaring in his keynote that his agency does not want to take over U.S. cybersecurity. Said Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander: "We don't want to run cybersecurity for the U.S. government. That's a big job...We need to have a partnership with others. DHS has a big role in it." NSA will provide "technical support," he said, as part of a team effort that includes the DHS and security industry.

No-News News: Melissa Hathaway's much-anticipated (and overhyped) keynote here was mostly a disappointment. No details on her 60-day review for the Obama administration -- just a few generalizations and several references to movies and literature. It's not that anyone expected her to give away her report before President Obama gets to read it, but we just wanted a few nuggets, that's all. So if I really dig for some details in her speech, here's what I get: Government can't work in isolation on this; we'll work with other countries to secure cyberspace; the feds can't delegate all of this. (See what I mean?) Still, I think her appearance at RSA was symbolic, signaling that the administration is planning to work with the security community. I only wish they had billed it that way.

Encryption, For Free: There was a lot of sharing going on at RSA due to both economic and market pressures. One of the more significant vendor announcements came from RSA, itself, which is now offering developers its BSAFE encryption tools -- which can cost a customer tens of thousands of dollars to license -- for free. The crypto components in BSAFE's library are widely deployed, and security analysts say with RSA now offering the technology for free, it could help finally make encryption a built-in element for many apps.

Botnet Brawl, Part 2: Unfortunately, it's becoming a tradition for botnet researchers to come to blows over new botnet discoveries at RSA. Last year, it was Kraken/Bobax. This year, Finjan's announcement that it had discovered a mega-botnet of some 1.9-plus million bots caused a stir among competing bot researchers, some of which say Finjan's numbers are misleading. But Finjan's CTO today responded, saying that the number of bots the company reported is accurate and based on uniquely infected machines. (I asked this last year, but I'll ask again: Would bot researchers please make this botnet identification process more uniform so that everyone is on the same page when you talk about botnets? Or at least get better at sharing your findings?)

The "Cloud" Cleans Up: I dare you to try counting the number of announcements and sessions at RSA with the word "cloud" in them. Security service-related announcements were big this year, with Cisco and IBM ISS, for instance, both releasing security services-based offerings. Existing service providers, like Savvis, branched out with new cloud-based services, and some unique service partnerships emerged, like that of file search engine vendor Splunk and security services provider GlassHouse Technologies, which unveiled a joint service designed to help manage security events across the enterprise with a search-engine approach.

And speaking of clouds -- the real ones, that is -- air travel to RSA last week was a mess for some attendees. There were reports of canceled flights, delayed flights, overbooked flights, grumpy flight attendants, and even one flight delay due to an airline replacing a seat cover in first class. Who needs RSA swag as long as you have a fresh seat cover?

-- Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32615
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
Piwigo 11.4.0 allows admin/user_list_backend.php order[0][dir] SQL Injection.
CVE-2021-33026
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
The Flask-Caching extension through 1.10.1 for Flask relies on Pickle for serialization, which may lead to remote code execution or local privilege escalation. If an attacker gains access to cache storage (e.g., filesystem, Memcached, Redis, etc.), they can construct a crafted payload, poison the ca...
CVE-2021-31876
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 through 0.21.1 does not properly implement the replacement policy specified in BIP125, which makes it easier for attackers to trigger a loss of funds, or a denial of service attack against downstream projects such as Lightning network nodes. An unconfirmed child transaction with ...
CVE-2019-10062
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
The HTMLSanitizer class in html-sanitizer.ts in all released versions of the Aurelia framework 1.x repository is vulnerable to XSS. The sanitizer only attempts to filter SCRIPT elements, which makes it feasible for remote attackers to conduct XSS attacks via (for example) JavaScript code in an attri...
CVE-2020-23995
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-13
An information disclosure vulnerability in ILIAS before 5.3.19, 5.4.12 and 6.0 allows remote authenticated attackers to get the upload data path via a workspace upload.