Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter • Volume 2, Number 7 • March 2006

Executive Director’s Message

This year’s RSA Conference was the latest in a series of informative events featuring innovative new products, endless networking opportunities, and a long list of speakers on key topics facing the information security industry.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and CEO Dr. Paul Twomey gave his unique perspective at a well-attended CSIA-sponsored town hall meeting. Debates over Internet content, he emphasized, should not spill over into restrictions on the basic infrastructure that he oversees at ICANN. A video stream of his opening statement is available is on our website

Our member companies were well represented among the select group of event keynote speakers, including Toby Weiss of CA, Thomas Noonan of ISS, John Thompson of Symantec, and, of course, Art Coviello of RSA.

Throughout the convention center, conversations turned to a wide range of questions, from increasing law enforcement action against companies that fail to properly secure consumers’ personal data, to the prospects of legislation under consideration in Congress that could either help reduce the alarming number of recent data breaches or make it more difficult to combat them. A number of CSIA priorities were featured prominently on the event agenda, particularly relating to the role of government in securing the privacy and reliability of the Internet.

Many speakers agreed that attacks are becoming more targeted, sophisticated and profit-driven. Securing the information infrastructure will require a more holistic approach than in the past, involving a combination of companies and technologies.

Several CEOs urged business leaders to do more to protect digital information and transactions, warning that if consumer confidence in online security continues to fall, so will online sales and the overall economy. Of course, even as we wrestle existing security threats to the ground, new ones continue to pop up. And exciting new technologies, like wireless networking, bring their own set of potential vulnerabilities.

On a happier note, I was proud to present the 2006 Award for Excellence in the Field of Public Policy to Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology at the conference. Ari has spent years laboring to protect consumers’ privacy on the Internet, make government information more accessible, and build industry consensus on defining spyware and best practices to fight it. Under his leadership, the Anti-Spyware Coalition has brought together corporations and other stakeholders to work together in a way that no one else could have, and in the process helped raise the spyware problem to national prominence.

Finally, CSIA celebrated our second birthday with a packed party that offered everyone a chance to take a break from the battlefields of information security. It was a great time. Now on to an even busier third year.