Hugh Thompson Show Closes Out RSAC 2015

Posted on by Fahmida Y. Rashid

Dr. Hugh Thompson, the program committee chairman of RSA Conference, closed out the RSA Conference week with the amusing and informational “Hugh Thompson and Guests.” How many of us will ever be able to look at a horse and carriage again without remembering his retelling of his family's runaway carriage ride?rsac 2015

All the laughter and jokes aside, Thompson addressed an area of conversation which typically does not come up in information security circles. Thompson and his guests explored the human side of hacking—why attackers do what they do and the effects on the victims after an attack. Dr. Srini Pillay, CEO of NeuroBusiness Group, explained the neuological effects on the brain associated with hacking. You can check out the science in the video of the show. 

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin talked about the chilling effect the attack on Sony last winter has had on the movie industry. “In the past you’d have a conversation on a phone and you’d send an email afterward saying, ‘This is my understanding of our discussion. Do you concur with this?’” he said. “Now we live in a world where people say, ‘Let’s discuss this offline.’ Phone calls and voice communication have become more popular again in the entertainment world.”

Baldwin also raised an important point: who decides what information should be public? “Everyone in this room has a hacker inside them,” Baldwin said. “Everyone feels that people are keeping things secret that shouldn’t be kept secret. But you have to step back and ask whether any of us has the right to judge what private information can rightfully be exposed.”

The show was a good way to mark the end of RSA Conference 2015. The 24th annual event was a success. Attendees watched demos in the Sandbox, cheered on companies in Innovation Sandbox, crawled the Expo floor, and thought about protecting children online. All of this wouldn't have been possible without the dedication of the program committee and the involvement of our speakers. This year broke attendance records as people came from around the world to listen to more than 700 speakers at more than 400 sessions, keynotes, peer-to-peer sessions, Learning Labs, track sessions, tutorials, forums,  cowdsourced talks, and seminars.

I hope that you enjoyed yourself. We look forward to seeing you again, at RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2015 on July 22 – 24 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, RSA Conference Abu Dhabi 2015 on Nov. 4-5, or back in San Francisco next year Feb 29-March 4. Let us know your thoughts.

Thank you all and safe travels home!

Fahmida Y. Rashid

Information Security Journalist, Editor-in-Chief, RSA Conference

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