Last week saw Zix at the RSA Conference (RSAC) in San Francisco. The RSAC has been around now for 25 years and has grown to an attendance of around 30,000 people, 500 speakers and 350 vendors. The growth in attendance has meant that the event now fills all of the Moscone Center: two million square feet housed in three massive buildings.
Four of ten members who staffed the Zix booth last week at RSAC
Although still a data security conference and expo, it can be argued that RSAC is also a business conference, because data security is now very much mainstream. In fact at the Zix booth we met with quite a number of Chief Information Security Officers and their direct reports, all of them with strong business acumen as well as IT and data security proficiency. We had a number of vertical businesses or vertically integrated groups interested in hearing about our email encryption solutions. There was a special interest in bringing these associated groups of companies into what is commonly called a community of trust, where members of the community are included in a directory of pre-screened, pre-certified users who are authorized to send and receive emails transparently. Several people also heard for the first time about Zix’s Best Method of Delivery (BMOD), a procedure to ensure that all recipients of encrypted email can access their emails in the most convenient way possible. A common theme we heard was the frustration with corporate users who bypass their own corporate security. When users find that security methods are cumbersome, or if they are denied a particular functionality, they will turn to unsanctioned Cloud offerings as a way to streamline their work or to improve their productivity. I remember a recent report by Netskope that found that 70% of uploads from users with compromised accounts are to Cloud apps with a confidence index rating of “poor.” Thus security experts are finding that if their protective efforts are to work in the real world, they must implement solutions that corporate users will actually use; and find easy to use. While touring the vendor booths, my colleagues and I found a number of mobile device management (MDM) vendors showcasing their BYOD solutions. The variety of apps that are now available for mobile device management solutions is impressive; however when I enquired about securing the data on lost or stolen devices the answer was the same as I’ve heard before: “we send a remote wipe instruction.” When I tell them how easy it is to defeat the remote wipe most acknowledge, albeit privately, that it is the Achilles heel of MDM solutions. By far the highlight of our time at RSAC was a visit to our booth by the world-famous security guru Kevin Mitnick. The line of people wishing to meet with Kevin was so long that we had to take it down a long aisle and double it back on itself. I’ve also heard a rumor that Kevin will be a guest at an upcoming Zix Webinar.
Celebrity visit: Kevin Mitnick visited the Zix booth on Wednesday
Another pleasure for me was meeting with existing Zix customers. Every one of them confirmed that they are very happy with our solutions, and they told me why: the best lexicons (detection filters), the supreme ease of use, and the way Zix solutions are automatically sized to be easily readable on any screen. It was a great week with great people; we’ve already booked our booth space for 2016, and I hope to see you all there next year. Visit Zix at http://www.zixcorp.com/