Sunday, February 12, 2012

Data Connectors Tech Security Conference – San Jose 2012

The Data Connectors Tech Data Conference was relatively informative with forty plus table top exhibitors and eight 45 minute presentations. Presentations – educational without being sales pitches that tended to take up the full 45 minutes. The presenting companies were Bit9, Quest, Arruba Networks, Cyber-Ark, Varonis, Centrify, WatchGuard, Palo Alto Networks, and Axway. If you can spare a day, the conference was pretty informative. You’re not going to get a technical deep dive from the presentations, and you won’t get tech support at the tables, but that’s not the purpose of this conference.

Sound Bytes from the Data Connectors Vendor Table Tops

Palo Alto Networks answered a lot of questions about what they do with apps and whether you do/don’t need a secure web gateway if you have their Next Generation Firewall. Informative booklets on evaluating NGFW’s and Modern Malware.

SonicWall - We’re a Next Generation Firewall Provider, too. Nice demo of the interface.

Unnamed AV vendor (Sophos or Eset) – Felt that one presenter was playing a bit loose with her figures about the percentage of “bad stuff” missed by traditional av/malware software. Informative DLP booklet from Sophos.

Riverbed Technology - Was quite pleased with their latest showing in the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers . Stated that they are moving away from their competitors in the Leaders section and are gaining share. Still waiting for the information requested to be sent to me. I’m going to be "Crying me a river" if I don’t receive it.

Two of the above stated that they stop more apps with their appliance(s) and allow more granularity with more of these apps than their competitor allows.

From Few of the Presentations

Bit9 – Talked about the evolving threat landscape and Advanced Persistent Threats (quite topical for the SF Bay Area since a university in SF, discovered recently that they have been losing data for years. Small companies aren’t immune from attacks as 75% of threats are targeted at them.

Quest – Talked about security in 2012 and presented on some of the ways to boost your IT security. As always, the weakest link are those end users. Things you need to worry about include: managing the use of social media, unsecured vitual machine deployment, and sensitive data in the cloud.

WatchGuard – Presented on their views as to how virtualization is the key to security in the future. The two top hurdles mentioned by companies – cloud security and privacy and compliance issues. Top cited obstacle was budget (who would have thought it?) at 51%.

Tchotchkes at tabletops - As always, way too many pens. Stress figures are remaking an appearance. White papers? Always. Free desktop AV software? Yes. T-shirts – that was a surprise. A couple of flashlights, lots of candy, “branding bags” were plentiful.

Drawings at the end for people who had a card initialed by all vendors contributing gifts to the pool were plentiful and included an Apple TV. I didn’t stay for the drawings. In fact, vendors at tables seemed to be happy seeing someone come up to them with a beverage in hand, not a card for initialing, asking something other than, “can you initial this?”

For details on the 2012 Data Connectors Tech Security Conference road show (locations and dates)

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