Focus on new research at RSA 2008

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There's a lot of new research that will be revealed at this year's gathering of security pros, says RSA chief security strategist Tim Mather.

The annual RSA Conference is being held in April in San Francisco and is expected to draw more than 17,000 attendees from around the world.

So what's new this year for the world's largest information security conference? For starters, we're introducing a new session track called "Research Revealed," which will present cutting-edge research results from some of the world's best security researchers. But that's just the beginning.

As overall knowledge of the industry continues to grow, RSA Conference is constantly evaluating the hottest trends and most critical developments in information security to offer the latest perspectives and leading expert opinions to its attendees. This year, there's a lot to look forward to. Here's a sampling.

While it has plagued us for 20 years, malware continues to cause significant difficulties for enterprises worldwide. It's become hard not to acknowledge the evolution of malware as a business. This year we'll be offering sessions that look at both malware prevention and the technical dissection of malware variants.

We'll give an in-depth, technical explanation of how the network and encryption protocols of the Storm botnet work together to create a massive and resilient peer-to-peer network that's capable of sending billions of spam messages per day. And, in case you thought all viruses were malware, we'll offer a technical look at "good viruses," too.

Changing landscape

To address the changing development landscape and influx of Web 2.0 and rich internet application technologies, such as AJAX and SOA, we've got several sessions on deck for 2008. Secure SDLCs [System Development Life Cycle Standards], fuzzing in the development lifecycle, and programming in the presence of side channel attacks are among some of the advanced sessions available for developers. And for practitioners, there are numerous sessions on topics such as endpoint protection and enforcement, securing data at rest, digital forensics and trusted/federated environments.

We're also taking a look at the big issues, such as warrantless wiretapping, the summer Olympics in Beijing, the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and the information security issues that are associated with each. Advancements in information technology will also be evaluated with sessions that take a holistic look at security challenges, such as VoIP, virtualisation and embedded systems. New technologies to help security professionals, such as the effective visualisation of large amounts of security-related data, are featured as well.

What else?

But we still have our foundation and will be supporting our long-established roots with offerings like the academically focused cryptographer track. All of the sessions in this track are peer-reviewed in advance to ensure that the highest quality new information is presented to the cryptographic community.

Time-tested panels and discussions covering traditional infrastructure security issues, such as firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems and anti-malware, also are on the docket this year. Too, the Conference sessions are addressing newer information-centric security issues, including data leakage prevention. Sessions on compliance requirements and challenges that span both infrastructure and information-centric security issues also are planned.

With more than 220 sessions split into 19 tracks, RSA Conference provides targeted content for multiple audiences — cryptographers, security practitioners, developers, executives (CISOs, CTOs, CEOs), and government and legal professionals. In short, there's plenty to look forward to at RSA Conference 2008. We hope to see you there.

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