Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The "Theme" of the Expo at RSA

I am working on a few posts on RSA, things like "Your Moment of Zen" and "Confessions of a Booth Babe", but first...

One of the oft asked questions at RSA was "What's the theme?" There was an official Turing theme, but it didn't really take. I spent quite a bit of time in the Expo with all of the vendors, so I proposed:
"Simple solutions to complex problems"
Rich Mogull suggested this refinement:
"Meaningless, content-free answers to important questions"

From the Expo floor there was also a strong undercurrent of:
"Buy our product and you will be (fill in the blank) compliant
(and thus secure)."

No surprises, really, but it is depressing how few people selling stuff (any stuff, not just security stuff) are aware of their own market. Security is hard and the odds are against "winning", so the hyperbole (100% effective against SPAM!) and oversimplification just annoy and offend the educated customer.

Don't get me wrong, overall I had a great time at RSA, but the stupid sales weasels just amaze and appall me. Keep in mind that I have spent the past thirty years in and supporting the car business, I know stupid sales weasels when I see them.