Yes, you read it here first, I will not be jetting into San Francisco on my private jet and staying at a hotel I wouldn”t tell you plebs about anyway.
RSA 2019 will be a first for me in that I am representing myself and not expensing my trip on the company dime. I am attending in part, to the generosity of ITSP Magazine, (cheers, Sean and Marco!) and all I have to do in return is type a few words out for them. They may already be regretting that decision after seeing me insulting you, dear reader, in my first sentence of this blog.
I often attend RSA without a solid itinerary, getting a lot of value of the “hallway track” and the multitude of events that are thrown in and around the city during the conference proper. However, since I now have some of my personal cash invested in this trip (I am staying in an AirBnB with a shared bathroom for goodness sake), it is probably wise to get at least some kind of structure together. To wit:
- HUM-T06: Humans Are Awesome at Risk Management
- DevOps Wine0ing (Not Whining) Cocktail Party
- ID-T07: Studies of 2FA, Why Johnny Can’t Use 2FA and How We Can Change That
- CXO-T09: How to Manage and Understand Your Human Risk
- Information Security Magazine Breakfast Briefing
- Threat Modelling Brunch with IriusRisk
- Security Blogger Awards (is it still on this year?)
- KEY-R02S: Burnout and You: Fireside Chat with Dr. Christina Maslach
- CXO-R11: The Fine Art of Creating a Transformational Cybersecurity Strategy
- PROF-F01: Five Secrets to Attract and Retain Top Tech Talent in Your Future Workplace
- PROF-F02: Why the Role of the CISO Sucks and What We Should Do to Fix It!
In summary then, risk, stress, strategy and human beings; all the key ingredients of any information security function.
This is my first cut of the agenda, and I reserve the right to not attend these and attend others, especially if some of my friends, colleagues, old drinking buddies and interesting random strangers turn up. Because that is what RSA is really about; meeting, networking and swapping ideas and opinions in real time.
The educational element is excellent of cours,, but it is rare that they will address exactly the problems you are facing day to day. You will learn something, you will expand your knowledge and you will take fantastic advice away with you, but it is rare you will get an hour face to face with he speaker. Taking the opportunity to really network and chew the fat with your old chums, as well as new o9nes is an invaluable way of really focusing your efforts.
Of course I have some specific goals (remember my reason for staying in the AirBnB?); I will be networking to find potential consulting work in the future, looking for NED or advisory positions, and seeing what is coming on the horizon from the many vendors. I am also interested to see if Artificial Intelligence code has actually been written in anything other than PowerPoint, although I suspect I will be disappointed again on that front.. Meeting my old boss and mentor, my old Deputy, a multitude of other pals, even the guy who reckons he is the sole founder of Host Unknown (when everyone knows that is me), is just icing on the cake. I am definitely looking forward to catching up with the person who said I could use their hotel room bathroom too.
There will also be a Host Unknown party, bought to you by the kind sponsorship of anyone who turns up, just like last year in Las Vegas during Black Hat and DefCon. I have heard at least two of the sole founders will be there to welcome the dollar bills of sponsorship from the attendees.
It’s going to be a long, endless week, but I do know that I will come back with more knowledge, more passion, more energy and more excitement for our industry than ever before.
And a whole lot less cash in the bank, so if you see me, don’t forget to offer food and drink.