Security and The Internet of Things: An RSA Roadmap

The RSA Security Conference starts next week in San Francisco: the central event of a week-long orgy of IT security wheeling and dealing in the Bay Area.

RSA is a busy place. Here’s a roadmap to some interesting, IoT focused talks!

Though its roots are as a small and clubby gathering of cryptographers, RSA long ago stopped being that, and started resembling a kind of speed dating event for technology and IT security firms. Sure – there are plenty of interesting talks at RSA, but the important work takes place in private suites of adjoining hotels and chance encounters in the halls of the Moscone. If there’s a big IT security deal in the offing – like IBM’s $1 billion acquisition of Trusteer, or FireEye’s purchase of the firm Mandiant – chances are good that the conversation started at RSA.

Long and short: RSA is a snapshot of the security industry at a particular place and time. As such, it tends to be a portrait of the IT security establishment rather than its avant-garde. That’s true this year, also. Specifically, security as it pertains to the Internet of Things, is mostly a side-conversation at RSA amid, rather than a central theme, and tends to be subsumed in conversations of mobile device security (a related, but separate issue).

Still, RSA is just one of a number of security happenings in the Bay Area next week where security, privacy and IoT are getting more play. And, even at the main event, the subject hasn’t been entirely ignored. To make it easier to do the rounds and get your fill of security-and-IoT fare, we’ve put together this list of IoT and IoT-relevant talks and events that will be taking place next week. We hope to see you lurking in the back of the room! 😉

Also – if there are talks or events that I have left off this list, but that you think are germane to Internet of Things and security, just message me on Twitter and I’ll make sure they get added!

Sunday, February  23rd: 

  • Though RSA doesn’t start until Monday, it’s hardly the only show in town. San Francisco’s edition of B-Sides will be running alongside RSA on Sunday and Monday at the DNA Lounge. If IoT is your thing, check out Zach Lanier and Mark Stanislav’s talk 5:00 PM on Sunday “The Internet of Things: We’ve Got to Chat.” Both Zach and Mark have been featured on this blog before. Mark tells me they’ll have some eye-opening research to present as well as a good, and important talk on issues surrounding security and connected devices.

Monday, February 24th: 

  • Cisco Systems has been one of the firms that has been way out in front on security and IoT. We’ve talked about their ambitions to be both an infrastructure provider for IoT networks and a guarantor of IoT trust. On Monday, Cisco Distinguished Engineer Eric Vyncke will give a short (20 minute) talk at 2:25 PM in the RSA Conference Studio (WEST 3012) addressing the security challenges unique to “constrained endpoints” – the special purpose and embedded devices that will make up the IoT.

Tuesday, February 25th

  • “Android in the Enterprise and the Future of Mobile Threats” Tuesday, 2:40 PM in Moscone West 2017: This Peer-to-Peer session is led by Cloudmark research analyst Andrew Conway. Andrew will lead a discussion of the security implications of Android’s increasing presence in the enterprise environment and steps to secure Droid devices.
  •  “How to Secure the Next Phase of Mobility in The Internet of Things,” Tuesday, 1:20 PM in Moscone West Room 2021: Google is pushing its Android operating system to run everything from tablets to trucks.  In this session, Erich Stuntebeck, AirWatch’s director of Mobility Research, will lead a peer-to-peer discussion of steps organizations will need to take to manage an increasingly heterogeneous mobile device population.

Wednesday, February 26th:

  • “Big Data’s Potential in Helping to Secure The Internet of Things,” Wednesday, 9:20 AM in Moscone West Room 3022. Jim Kobielus is an IBM Big Data Evangelist. Check out his talk on how to leverage Big Data analytics to secure the Internet of Things. Kobielus will talk about how to understand Internet of Things vulnerabilities at the device, application and network level and use aggregated data on security incidents to manage the security of IoT deployments.
  • Also on Wednesday, Winn Schwartau, the CEO of The Security Awareness Company, will give a short (20 min) talk entitled “Beyond Information Warfare: The History of te Future of Security.” Schwartau will look at the security and privacy implications that go along with a world of tens- or hundreds of billions of IP enabled devices. His talk takes place at 11:20 at Moscone West Room 2016.

Thursday, February 27th

  • “Make Way for the Internet of Things,” 9:20 AM in Moscone West Room 2016.  Jun is the Chief Technology Officer of Cryptography Research (now a part of Rambus) and a super-smart guy. Over the years, he has taken on some of the most vexing security challenges around: securing sensitive financial transactions and piracy magnets like satellite television and consumer goods. His work gives him a front row seat for the Internet of Things revolution. In this 60 minute talk, Jun takes a stab at describing the security implications of the Internet-connected device explosion and what it might mean for security.

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