Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Coviello: RSA 2010 Will be Last Conference

Okay, that’s not precisely what he said. What he said was that in “two to three years” there will be no more “standalone security solutions.” Meanwhile, the tradeshow floor of the RSA conference seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance, which is good to know, as the theme of the conference is, well, The Renaissance.

Sure, after you’ve been swallowed up into a behemoth, it’s easy to think that in a few years everyone else will be, too. However, carrying that idea to its end leads to precisely the absurd headline I put there. If, in two or three years, there really are no more standalone companies, then why put on a show just to see EMC, MSFT, Cisco, and Symantec? Press releases will suffice.

Of course, RSA keynotes have always had their wacky absurdities. There was 2004, when we learned that there will be no more spam in two years, and that was called “silliness” even at the time.

More ominously, there was the year where scholars like Rivest and Shamir talked about coming invasions of privacy, and the product pitches to follow made the point that they weren’t just ivory-tower hand-wringers.

But this year, Coviello implied that we should all just hang it up, because security is now owned by EMC and Microsoft. He also praised how there’s “so much security” in Vista. Of course, last week CNet thought otherwise.

And as for Microsoft, they’re jumping on OpenID, an identity management system that may be a huge boon for phishing. It’s a good thing they solved spam and phishing last year, and can move on to this.