Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SOURCE Boston 2009, Day 1

Whenever there is a gathering of like-minded individuals, the atmosphere is generally good. SOURCE Boston is no different. I arrived yesterday on a Delta Shuttle flight, which shows that air travel can indeed be pleasant and civilized. Even the TSA staff at the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport was friendly, patient and polite. The waiting area is highly civilized and quiet, and the plane was comfortable. Every now and then, an experience like this reminds you what flying should be like.



After getting to the Seaport Hotel, check-in went flawlessly and I settled in. The opening talk in the morning was interesting and, at times, a little provocative. All in all, Peter Kuper did a good job kicking off the conference speaking on the current economic crisis, and its underlaying causes.



The first regular talk I attended was by my friend David Mortman, who spoke on the different privacy laws, and the implications that they have for information security. Anyone who knows David knows that he is an interesting person to listen to, and this was no exception. He bakes bread pretty well too.



Adam and I were up immediately following David and we spoke on why information security in higher education brings its own particular challenges to the table. While the session was not very busy (as expected), the interaction and the feedback that we got was very good and we both enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully our audience did too. The slide-deck of the presentation is available for download in case you are interested.



Next up was lunch (excellent! Probably the best conference lunch I have ever had), followed by a Adam Shostack presenting on the crisis in information security. Adam makes a strong point of the need for data in order to test hypothesis. Adam's presentation was followed by the guys from Full Scope Security on the role of client-side attacks in penetration testing.



I was unable to attend the last session of the day due to some scheduling conflicts, and as I write this, I am getting ready for the speaker's reception tonight, and the SOURCE Party immediately after.



All in all, this was a great way to open up the conference, and I was happy that I was able to make it here! I look forward to what tomorrow has to bring.



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