Chips and custard

Two things that definately do not go together are chips and custard. Unless you’re pregnant. Or from Belgium where I suppose it’s not too far removed from smothering your frites with mayo. An old friend of mine actually has a phobia of mayonaise. I’m not making it up. Put a jar of Helmans finest in his fridge and he’ll skip all meals until it’s gone.

This was my rather inappropriate line of thought during the opening keynote at the annual Gartner IT Security Summit today. Twenty minutes after the speaker began his rant about why everything we do is wrong and why everything he has researched is right, I gave up trying to pay attention completely. Thirty more minutes later, while I was contemplating what sort of reaction removing my eyes from their sockets, standing up and shouting “look at me” would have in the crowded theatre, he finished and I headed for the coffee.

No-one reading this blog will be even remotely interested in anything the presenter, Neil MacDonald, had to say during his pontification on adaptive security infrastructures.

One question that came to mind during Martin Smith’s excellent presentation on security awareness was this: if security awareness is so effective at reducing risk, what technical controls can I throw out and save money on once I have my successful awareness program in place? Hmmm….We were treated to an good demonstration of how Unilever have made use of Second Life for spreading the awareness message within their organisation. Got me thinking…

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Chocolate mousse with steak tartar. I sat through the same presentation. Neil missed the point that technology is not the problem. I don't disagree that we could benefit from better convergence between security disciplines and products, but the whole focus was on the premise that by solving the technology issues we'll cure all our security ills. I lasted 25 minutes :-)
I think you probably already know my reaction to these kinds of events.... I stopped attending the regular fora circuit with the usual crowd long ago. Much more likely to find me at a safety critical software conference or similar. I find there's much more value than the regular hyped higher profile 'big ticket' events.
You're probably right Duncan. There are two days remaining of this particular event and the agendas for Tuesday and Wednesday look more promising. Hopefully I'll come home in a more positive frame of mind tomorrow!