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Johnnie Konstantas

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RSA Conference 2010: Red Carpet & Backstage Report

Everything from the wonderfully apt and beautifully rendered Rosetta Stone theme, to the impressive speaker and keynote line up, to the pervasive and continuous multi-media updates – this was for me by far the best RSA yet.

I have to admit, I arrived at the Moscone center braced for yet another RSA conference. The registration regimen reminded me that I’ve been attending since — yikes — ’99! Long enough to remember many of the themes, the salad days of lavish parties and the more austere times of tchotchke-free booths.

Now here is the part where I will tell you how surprised I was. Everything from the wonderfully apt and beautifully rendered Rosetta Stone theme, to the impressive speaker and keynote line up which included the Secretary of the US DHS, to the pervasive and continuous multi-media updates via email and on the show floor — this was for me by far the best RSA yet.

Okay maybe it has a little something to do with Altor’s big win at the Innovation Sandbox but this event too was first rate. A well-apportioned space gave each of us contestants a chance to showcase our latest products. The conference organizers made sure that plenty of registrants knew about the contest and when the doors were opened to the showcase area at 1pm on March 1st, there was a line of folks ready to engage us in interesting and challenging discussions. The contestant presentations took place on a well-lit stage with professional audio/video equipment and personnel on-hand. This well thought out innovation showcase is an absolute bonanza for any start-up looking to get close to customers and industry experts and well worth the rigorous application process.

The energy of the ISB carried over to the show floor where the booths and hallways seemed busier than in years past. The magicians, tossing greens and bouncy balls were back but so too was the excitement over industry turning points that are fueling new technologies and thinking about security. The big winner among these was cloud security with no fewer than five keynotes being devoted to the topic including those of Arthur Coviello, EVP of EMC, Scott Charney CVP of Trusted Computing, Phillippe Courtot CEO of Qualys, Dave Hansen SVP and GM of CA and Phil Dunkelberger CEO of PGP.

There’s already talk about whether “cloud” marketing has gone over the top and admittedly it was the easiest square to fill on Bruce Schneier’s RSA bingo card (BTW this is a guaranteed side splitting laugh for any trade show veteran).

But whether we marketers are doing a job too well, doesn’t change this very real customer need which CISOs say is the inevitable way ahead and which IDC’s Chris Christensen puts at the $1B dollar market mark (mainly for web and email services cloud security).

And as Jon Brodkin of Network World points out, virtualization and cloud security is an area of huge investment by EMC, Intel, Cisco, VMware and Juniper Networks.

I for one couldn’t be prouder to be a part of Altor and accountable in a market that feels a bit like being in the midst of a revolution. It’s nice to be excited about security after all these years and I’m looking forward to RSA 2011.

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More Stories By Johnnie Konstantas

Johnnie Konstantas heads Gigamon’s security solutions marketing and business development. With 20+ years in telecommunications, as well as data and cybersecurity, she has done a little bit of everything spanning engineering, product management and marketing for large firms and fledglings.

Most recently, she was the VP of Marketing at Dato, a company pioneering large-scale machine learning. She was also VP Marketing at Altor Networks (acquired by Juniper), an early leader in virtualization security and at Varonis Systems. Past roles have included product management and marketing for Check Point, Neoteris, NetScreen and RedSeal Systems.

Johnnie started her career at Motorola, designing and implementing large-scale cellular infrastructure. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.