RSA Recap

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So sunny San Fran turned out to be not so sunny this week. But the outlook for identity is definitely very bright!

There were definitely some significant events at the show. First, Symantec’s announcement at DEMO the week before to provide an Identity Service and their demonstration (with our technology supporting it I might add) at RSA definitely made the Symantec booth a place to visit. Symantec’s approach to being an identity provider is fairly comprehensive in terms of helping consumers and businesses tackle the identity problem. And they certainly have the distribution to get consumers behind it approaching the much debated chicken and egg scenario from the analyst community.

The biggest buzz of course was from Microsoft’s announcement to support OpenID. There is much being written about this announcement and the significance it has for Identity 2.0. This definitely indicates that the collaboration of technologies is being embraced by all to create a more open management system for public identities. If you want to read more about this announcement check out this article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer which explains the significance in great non-technical terms for any non-techie readers. You should also check out Kim Cameron’s blog for a more behind the scenes view from Microsoft and technical discussions.

Perhaps one of the most significant things to me was the General Session Panel Discussion on “Pandora’s Box: Youth on the Internet”. Clearly with this high profile focus, the security industry is starting to see the importance age plays in our online world and how we need to provide better ways to protect our children. I think anyone with kids gets this quickly but impressing on the huge dangers the Internet presents to children to those without kids is still very much needed based on a few personal discussions I had at the event.

No matter how good a parent is, the danger is still present. In fact, before the panel discussion began, we learned that 70% of kids ages 10-17 have received sexual solicitation over the Internet and only 27% have told a parent or guardian about it. There were other scary things discussed which you can read about here in the recap article from CNET. But one thing I was a bit disappointed about is the lack of discussion on age verification in social networks. However, I was very encouraged by a comment from Facebook’s Chris Kelly who referred to the fact that we need to develop technology solutions that help provide the same protection standards online as in our bricks and mortar world. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So, my bottom line on the show? Eventful and worthwhile.