So in its simplest form InfoSec is just a large warehouse of a room, with lots of people/geeks getting hot and sweaty, and waffling a lot. A more profound description would indicate that InfoSec is a barometer gauging the health of the Information Security industry in the UK and wider afield. And it would be fair to say that this years event is bigger than last years, with more exhibitors, whilst also remaining more modest [with most of the stands being somewhat smaller and more compact]
As usual there where two styles of exhibitor…those who where the big names, the big hitters, the almost "house-hold" names in information security, with there big/brash stands usually situated at the frount of the exhibition hall. Then there was the small, 4 meter by 4 meters, modest stands, with little or no marketing colleral and just one guy, complete with beard, glasses and sandels who want to discuss Information comliance and governance with you, until your ears bleed and your nervous system makes your limb mussels twitches and spasm "get me out of here" in Morse code.
Another fun activity when attending this type of event is the continuous search from treasure. The freebie. The useless piece of marketing tat, that your take back home from the kids. In particular, I was looking for a replacement for my red F5 stress ball, as the last one sadly disintegrated during a prolong game of "hit the account manager on the head" (AKA Matt’s Bonce Bounce), sometime during the last year’s Xmas festivities. Thankfully, F5 came up trumps again, and not only do I now have all the datasheets relating to their IPv6 gateway devices, but I also have ample ammunition to throw at the sales staff.
Most bizzare bit of treasure? We this year the award has to go to the pair of socks provided by Pen Test Partners. As well as giving a new nice demonstration of hacking OWA via iPhone’s almost implicit trust of previously connected WIFI hot spots, they where also quite free with the foot apparel, with the whole experience turning from information security demonstration to twisted "game show like" prize give-away in the blink of an eye.
Other awards which are quite apt for this event….
…most blanket marketing coverage? Same as last year: Webroot….everywhere you look in the exhibition hall you can see some evidence of their luminous green livery. Everything from the initial bag of treasure you are handed on the way in….to the bar where you have that all important one-to-one networking meeting….are all sporting the Webroot moniker!
…most ostentatious Stand? That’s a hard one. There where the usual "over the top" lighting affairs at AV avenue….the row where most of the Anti-malware vendors hang out. Both Sophos and Cisco continued with their bright white minimalist look. McAfee and Wickhill both had split-level two-floor stands [I wonder if they get charged extra for the additional square footage]!