Some ten-plus years ago, our then still quite small company decided to push the boundaries – literally: we went transnational. Before long we found we had expert-analyst KLers working in all corners of the globe, all of them communicating with one another by email, messengers, telephone and other indirect means. Nothing wrong with that really, but still, it’ll never beat face-to-face interaction. So we decided to have a yearly jamboree where we’d all get together and top up on the much needed proper face time. That was when our annual conference for IT security experts was born: the Security Analyst Summit (SAS).
Over those four days we’ll be having our annual (seventh) conference on information security, whose main topic will be modern-day cyberattacks and protecting against them besides a whole load of other assorted cyberthreat themes. The winter summit in warmer climes, this year in Cancun, Mexico: the Security Analyst Summit 2015 (SAS).
So, just remember, the main security industry hashtag of mid-Feb this year is this one: #TheSAS2015
(No security experts were harmed during the shooting of this video)
SAS is an exclusive, invite-only gig, with only the cream of the world’s crop of top IT security movers and shakers taking part. It’s not massive – it’s more intimate, which means it’s more meaningful and more gets done – and twice as engaging and interesting for all participants. But don’t feel left-out by this guest-list-only cliquishness. Opaque – us? :). Just about all what’s discussed we’ll be swiftly publishing as tweets and blogposts (see the hashtag above and the blog links below).
Meantime, if you want more detail about what goes on at SAS and some SAS history, have a read of this.
This year’s bash promises lots of very interesting content, including a world premiere or two plus other important announcements, as per tradition. The main themes are targeted attacks and cyber-militarization, and how to combat both. Also on the agenda are: mobile malware, vulnerabilities management, cyberattack analysis methods, intra-security-expert-industry cooperation, and more besides.
There’ll be both presentations of the ‘for all’ format, and also highly specific, specialized ones for the pros (like for example reverse engineers). And there’ll be a special bit this year on protecting critical infrastructure – which promises to be very useful due to both the timeliness and the number of top-notch experts who are going to be taking part.
Have a look for yourself: the program’s ready and online already.
For me, there’s nothing better to invigorate the soul and get the spirits up on a winter’s morning than a brisk stroll in the icy air to the accompaniment of the cheerful, optimistic sounds of… bagpipes!
Actually, there is one thing that invigorates the soul better, and that’s an earthquake. I was woken up by one once in Japan. Invigorated? Yes. But getting the spirits up?…
No earthquakes here fortunately, in the small town of Davos in the Swiss Alps. But lots of icy air and, bizarrely, some bagpipes emitting their dulcet tones. Not that I was able to appreciate them for long, for I had to be off to my next meeting…
Things seem a little overly workaholic-like in Davos this year. Some events start at 7.30 in the morning! WHAT? Jeez, what a nightmare (for an evening person like myself). Oh well, if that’s when they start, that’s when they start. Will just have to comply humbly, and grumbly. But – organizers – please, kindly, get a grip and not repeat this madness next year, eh?
Curiously, Davos, for WEF week, turns itself into the weirdest skiing resort in the world.
To start off with, the environs around Davos have never been a super-mega for skiing and snowboarding. There aren’t that many routes, and they’re somewhat straight and boring, in fact hardly much fun at all – especially if you compare them with the likes of Zermatt, Sölden, Lech, the Dolomites and so on…
As per tradition, we recently had our New Year/Christmas blowout – the kind of party other, duller companies tend to call their ‘corporate do’. That hardly describes what we have though – and more and more so every year…
Last Friday some 1700 KLers and scores of guests from around the world all gathered in Moscow’s massive Olympic Stadium for our mega-bash. We ate, drank and were merry; we danced, bantered and awarded each other prizes; we took part in – or watched – the sublime ice spectacle and KL-stage show (in which around 110 employees took part); then danced some more, then some more again… all to wind up the year as is only right and proper – and usher in the next and even better 12 months.
Ireland does IT real well – it both understands it and supports it. But it doesn’t just attract and help out ‘adult’ tech businesses, it also does its bit with IT-incubators and supporting IT startups. But I waxed lyrical about all that a year ago.
// Ireland’s also seriously into pharmaceuticals, but I won’t be discussing that today. Pharmaceticals to me are like a parallel universe (and the term ‘pharma’ mostly reminds me of the illegal drugs trade on the Internet.
So here I was at the Web Summit exhibition-conference in Dublin, November 2014.
Among other things, Web Summit is a yearly gathering for all sorts of different IT-startups, which come here in search of partners and investors. It really is the place to come if you’re a budding IT ‘infant’-company with loads of ideas and plans and dreams but no money. IT-infants (plus investors and large business) come here from all over the world.
Here I am in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to attend this year’s INTERPOL General Assembly. I love this place. I’ve been here several times before, but never tire of it. One thing I’d never gotten round to doing though was getting up into those hills that tower up above it.
This time, I finally managed it. It was just a shame that in the morning it was really overcast and rainy…
The view from the top of the hill – from a village called La Turbie
I once wondered why golf isn’t popular in Russia. Or rugby or cricket, for that matter. Why are these sports – played by millions and watched by billions – hardly noticeable in Russia?
After mulling it over a short while I think I came up with the answer, and it’s simple! Russia’s got winter going on for half the year. It would be daft looking for small white balls in the (white) snow. I remember playing ice hockey when I was young and very often the puck would end up in a snowdrift. We spent more time looking for errant pucks than playing the game. But that’s ice hockey. How can you have ice hockey with no ice/snow? As for other small-ball sports you can generally play in the street of yard – no. They just don’t suit Russia, so they never really took off.
Meanwhile in India!…
Snow to many an Indian is pretty exotic – only seen on the TV in a news report or film. It’s just something that isn’t thought about, like golf in Russia. So snow there doesn’t hinder ball games much, so ball games are mega popular. But you rarely see lads getting together for a kick-about of soccer in India like you do practically the world over. No, instead they all play the exotic (and not only to Russians) game of cricket. Yep, for cricket here is a lot more popular than football! Which has to be a fairly unique state of affairs for any country… So it’s only logical that the very best and most popular (ever!) Indian professional cricket player – Sachin Tendulkar – is referred to as the ‘God of Cricket’ here.
Everywhere the man goes there are cries of “Sachin! Sachin!”, with folks clapping and jumping about and taking as many pics as poss with their gadgets.
I saw the commotion he causes last week in the flesh while in Mumbai. Sachin is a long-time KL friend and partner, and he’s also been our ‘brand ambassador’ in India and nearby countries for several years already.
I was in India for the launch of the new version of KIS 2015, and also of our new education program to protect children from cybercrime in Indian schools. Of course there was much of the usual – presentations, interviews, solo and group photos… only this time things were just a little different due to the larger-than-life presence of the country’s No. 1 megastar showstopper! It was a lot of fun though. Don’t know how he manages it on a daily basis with all that frenzied attention.
Despite working with him for several years already it was the first time I’d met him in person, and the honor and pleasure were all mine. I particularly liked the bit when we kicked back and enjoyed a wonderful meal.
We have a tradition at KL where mid-July each year we throw a company birthday bash. Last Friday it was our 17th, leaving us just one more year before we become fully adult! So a youthful theme was what we were after this year – our final year of innocent adolescence…
…The organization of this year’s festivities however were truly adult in nature. Everything went smoothly and to plan. In fact every year these summer blowouts just get better and better. But I for the life of me can’t imagine how this year’s is going to be improved on. But I say that on everybirthday. True to tradition once again the organizers went one better :).
I guess a sweater, jumper or sweatshirt on the singer just wouldn’t have been right :)
Now, for any Moscow drivers who were held up one recent sunny afternoon by an army of retro-mobiles slowly edging along Leningradsky Shosse and Prospect – SORRY! It was us, KL, putting on some old-school Ritz for our highly valued partners from all over Western Europe.
Back towards the end of the 1990s was when a KLer first had a child. My toast at the baby’s head-wetting went something like this: “At last we’ve assimilated viruses ourselves – and started to multiply!”
Around 200 children of KL HQ employees came to work with their mamas and papas last week to finally find out about the place one of their parents disappears to every week day
Since then we’ve been motivating employees in various ways to have more children! The more the merrier, I say. Yes, we’re quite family-friendly here at KL – kid-friendly even more so. It’s quite funny how the KL-kiddie situation has evolved: At first, every time a KL-cub entered this world we would all get together and not just wet, but fairly drench the poor little thing’s head :). A few years later, as the frequency went up dramatically we’d just chip in for a nice prezzie for the happy new mom and dad. Then, when the new-baby frequency moved from Hz to kHz, we’d simply get to hear the news at the water cooler. Seems a shame, but what can you do? We’ve a world to save too!
I don’t know how many KL-juniors we’ve got here now, but it’ll be a lot. With this in mind, as well as international child protection day in Russia (and many other countries) coming in early June, we organized a big children’s party at the office! Around 200 kids of our employees came to work with their mamas and papas to finally find out about the place one of their parents disappears to every week day, and to play, paint, eat, trampoline, and lots more besides.