Ed S.

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 Name: Ed S.  Years in Security Industry: 16
 Title: Security Instructor and Team Manager  RSA Conferences Attended: 8

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cartoonist.

Big Data – hype or not?
Not. Lots of important things need to be done here to secure the business value of large conglomerations of data, and it's not trivial to make data both available for business use and secure.

Why do you attend RSA® Conference:
I learn a tremendous amount at every RSA Conference, especially about the biggest trends in the industry. I also get a chance to catch up with old friends, finding out what they've been thinking about, innovating on, and struggling with.

Favourite session topic:
Cryptographer's Round Table and Lifetime achievement award.

Best advice ever received:
Your name is your personal brand and you should strive for quality in everything you do to reinforce that brand.

Most important mentor and why:
Alan Paller. I learned from him the importance of fighting the good fight for the right reason in the right way.

What aspect of your job gets you up in the morning?
Helping people improve their skills in handling computer attacks.

Perfect day off:
Writing and running a scavenger hunt / capture the flag challenge for my kids and the children around the neighbourhood.

Biggest professional challenge?
Convincing management to do the right thing.

Most memorable career moment?
First major hacking presentation I gave was standing-room-only. In the middle of my talk, someone pointed out to me that my shoe came untied, so I apologised to the front row, kicked off my shoe, and presented barefoot. The audience hooted at this. It showed me that having an unexpected turn during a presentation and a flexible style are critical.

Why you’re in the security industry:
In my own little way, I strive to help make things more secure, keeping bad guys from doing bad things.

First job:
Engraver at a jewellery store.

PC or Mac?
Mac (my home is a shrine to Apple hardware)

Blackberry, Android or iPhone?

Biggest security concern:
Power Grid attacks.

What industry-wide changes need to happen in order to improve how security organisations work together?
We need decision makers (and the stakeholders that rely on them) to understand the nature of the evolving threats we face. Attackers so far have been remarkably gentle compared to how nasty they could be. I worry that the public and their representatives have been lulled into a sense of complacency regarding the security of technology.

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