Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Ah, some security at last

Wow, today's been a long one... 7am I arrived at Hotel Nikko on Ellis and Mason and got in the lift with someone else who seemed to know where they were going. I ended up on the 25th floor where a large Vericept sign introduced me to the breakfast briefing with Rich Mogull. Having spoken to Rich many times on the phone and spent years reading his work, I was surprised to find I had spent our first couple of minutes in each other's exclusive company in complete silence - he had been my lift companion just moments earlier.

Rich gave a great talk about data breaches in the US and the UK, for which I was extremely grateful - not many people here are concerned about both markets, but it's important to know what's going on. Rich even let me pitch in a little about the state of the UK government's recent data problems, and also on a funny story about Jeremy Clarkson putting his details online for everyone to hack. [Full story here]

After the talk, Rich used his first podcast of the week to talk to little old me about the UK market, and my latest project, setting up an EMEA product management company - SecurEMEA.

A couple of meetings later and it was time to hit the show. I have rarely been so confused by messaging and constant banter. I walked around the show in a bit of a daze, being collared often by various friends old and new. I'm sure I know more people in San Francisco than I do in London these days.

Another couple of meetings with the guys at PKWare and Sam from AlertLogic and I was ready to hit the road. One more sweep of the show to make sure I hadn't missed anyone and I bumped into a couple of guys I'd shared my near death experience on the plane with.

4pm saw me hooking up with a couple of guys from Vormetric. No trade secrets to be shared, just catching up with old friends, and making a new one. Despite plying me with Starbucks coffee, I was flagging badly, so agreed to pop in for their drinks party tomorrow night at the B bar in Yerba Buena and made my way to my room.

Just as I was sitting back to enjoy some peace and quiet my wife came in and announced that her friend Leah, on her way to Australia and here keeping her company for the next few days, had had $100 stolen from her in the very same Starbucks earlier in the day. She turned up at the hotel a few moments later, so I bought her a drink and offered dinner. I'd hate anyone to go away with the impression that San Francisco is that sort of place, I love it and I feel so safe here normally. I guess you get bad people everywhere.

I'll be talking more about SecurEMEA in the very near future, after I have some initial conversations out of the way at RSA, but the basic premise is out there on the website, and I am available for immediate consultation. Catch up with me this week if you're at RSA, it could be a while until I'm coaxed back onto an aeroplane...

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