I know this post is a bit delayed, but this is a good opportunity to take advantage of the fact that the 2010 RSA Conference Keynote addresses have been posted online.  You can view an interactive webcast, view the video, or even listen/download audio-only podcasts of the keynote presentations.  Some of my favorites from this past RSA conference included:

  • Art Coviello’s keynote continued on his theme from last year for the increasing need of companies and competitors to work together to secure the cloud,  He made an initial announcement of the collaboration between EMC (including RSA and newly acquired Archer), Intel, and VMWare to provide mechanisms to trust (and therefore help meet compliance requirements) the physical and virtual hardware elements of a cloud-based computing infrastructure. He also brought up an extremely good point: the transition to cloud-based computing is inevitable, and rather than wringing our hands about how difficult it will be to secure, we should see this transition as an opportunity to change the way security is performed and delivered.  It was a traditional type of message for Mr. Coviello, but one that resonated with me better than his keynotes in previous years.
  • Scott Charney’s keynote was focused on what Microsoft is doing to help us achieve end-to-end trust.  It was interesting to hear that Scott has been at Microsoft for eight years which is about the exact same amount of time since Bill Gates’ trustworthy computing initiative was started. While Microsoft has often been hammered for making mistakes with security, it is clear that the last eight years have seen terrific improvement.  He similarly delivered a message including some new efforts Microsoft is involved in, and indicated that collaboration was the key to success in the security arena.  A great quote from that presentation:

And every now and then I juxtapose my four and a half year old with my 80-year old mother, in part because they behave so much alike it just astounds me. But let me tell you one way they also behave alike. My four and a half year old has learned to navigate with a mouse, and it’s just great to watch. He navigates to the mouse, up pops this security dialogue. He can’t read. He doesn’t understand it. He clicks okay.Then I go to my mom. She’s got a PhD in education. She gets the dialogue box. She can read, she doesn’t understand it, and she clicks okay. Okay? We can’t do it that way anymore.

  • The Cryptographer’s Panel included a new member this year, Brian Snow from the NSA.  If you watch nothing else, you should watch this for the broad scope of education, information, and entertainment it provides. Having the perspective of the NSA added is an interesting one, and it is clear from the ensuing discussion that neither the academic community (represented best by Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir) still doesn’t trust the NSA, and the NSA believes it still has a leg up on everyone when it comes to cryptographic advances.
  • Some brief remarks from Howard Schmidt, White House CyberSecurity Coordinator. He gave a powerful analogy between how cybersecurity is evolving compared to how firefighting evolved.  He also provided some updates about what the current administration is doing in the area of cybersecurity, building on the presentation by Melissa Hathaway last year.

Overall the 2010 keynote presentations were among the better first day of keynotes in all the 10 RSA conferences I’ve attended.  The above presentations were my favorites, and I hope you can spend some time to watch them!