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Under pressure? Is the RSA conference really at threat from Bsides? #RSAC

January 31, 2012

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

No, not really, unless the risk is that the crisis management team at RSA doesn’t get into gear on the situation.

The Countdown team have been reading with interest the discussions on twitter and in the blogsphere about the stance of the RSA Conference on neighbouring Infosec chat and techfest, Bsides that are both taking place in San Francisco simultaneously.

Last year, apparently RSA issued waivers as a type of “get out of jail free” for anyone who exhibited or sponsored the event if they also exhibited at or sponsored the Bsides event which was nearby in the city. (It appears there is a 5 mile exclusion zone barring sponsors’ from participation in any events / conferences etc. which RSA deems as competitive) 

Our take:

If you have such a clause (surely it could mean that an exhibitor’s sponsored drinks party nearby could be an issue surely during show hours??), then don’t issue waivers one year and then withhold them the next. Why? Because now you are saying it wasn’t a threat last year and this year it is. So making sure everyone is going to check out Bsides as an alternative rather than an extra.

More on the issues here on the InfosecIsland blog: http://infosecisland.com/blogview/19783-BSides-San-Francisco-Feels-RSA-Conference-Pressure.html

Events like Bsides are essential for nurturing the up and coming talents – who are innovative and edgy maybe pre-VC. Those same firms will own day grow up to have budgets to be at RSA. If RSA exhibitors are there at Besides. All the more reason for them to be at RSA at next year too.

RSA is a great conference, but in this situation Bsides will probably get the sympathy of the Infosec tweeters. Our advice to RSA. Lift the ban, embrace Bsides as the RSA fringe festival. It is your future, find a way to co-exist! 

More on both events here.

www.rsaconference.com

www.securitybsides.org

The Countdown team look forward to chatting about Infosec and enjoying #securitybeers with you at both events in San Francisco next month.

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