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Why CSOs Should Care About ShmooCon

o Bill Brenner
08.02.2010 kl 14:56 |

CSO Senior Editor Bill Brenner on why high-level security execs should pay more attention to a hacker fest like ShmooCon.


Many CSOs view ShmooCon as an event of small importance. You don't see the suits and ties that are on display at RSA. In fact, to those who haven't attended, this conference is just a place where twenty-something hackers come to get drunk and throw TVs out hotel windows. Another crazy Black Hat/Defcon-caliber conference, more than one high-level security exec has told me in the past.

As with any security event, things can get rough around the edges. The security podcasters' meet-up on Saturday night was more like a Motley Crue concert than anything else. The podcasters on stage resembled the head table at a Klingon wedding. But drunken antics conference-wide were minimal, and some decent food for thought came out of the podcasting event despite the rowdiness.

The larger reality is that a lot of important talks happen here that have implications up and down the IT security food chain. It's also important to note that a lot of the young ruffians who come here are the very people who find the security holes so they can be fixed. They also build a lot of the technology CSOs lobby their upper management to invest in.

Some examples:

While most of the talks were tech-heavy, a lot of the discussion in the presentations and in the hallways were about the language disconnect that often exists between IT and upper management and how best to close the gap.

All important issues that must be addressed, from the IT basement to the top-floor executive boardroom.

We can't live in silos doing our individual jobs and pretend the rest of the company doesn't exist. In the battle to secure cyberspace, we're all in this together.

Read more about application security in CSOonline's Application Security section.

Keywords: Software  Security  Consumer Electronics  
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