Driving forward your security agenda

The theme of security plays a critical role in the military and governmental fields and a recent string of high-profile security lapses have brought security to the top of the news agenda.
    
From HMRC’s loss of disks containing the information of 25 million UK child benefits claimants, to the most recent case of Home Office contractor PA Consulting’s loss of a USB stick containing the un-encrypted details of 84,000 prisoners, it is clear that government departments are struggling to cope with today’s demands around IT security. If at the top, government departments are subjected to a seemingly constant stream of security breaches, what hope is there for the rest of the country?
    
The loss of the sensitive data at government departments has led, undoubtedly, to the erosion of customer and citizen trust, and has prompted the proposal of a data breach law that would give the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) more funds and authority to punish organisations for ‘reckless’ data breaches.
    
The IT security field, including data security, continues to grow in importance and influence. RSA® Conference is helping to drive the security agenda worldwide with annual events in the USA, Europe and Japan, playing an integral role in keeping security professionals across the globe connected and educated. This autumn sees the return of RSA® Conference Europe in London, taking place 27-29 October.  
     
Throughout its history, RSA Conference has consistently attracted the world’s best and brightest in the field, creating opportunities for conference attendees to learn about IT security’s most important issues through first-hand interactions with peers, luminaries and both emerging and established companies.

Conference theme
Every year, RSA® Conference is built around a different theme which highlights a significant historical example of information security. In 2008, the conference celebrates the influence of Alan Turing, the British cryptographer, mathematician, logician, philosopher and biologist.
    
Considered by many to be the father of modern computer science, Turing’s impact on the concept of algorithms, computation and artificial intelligence live on more than 50 years after his death. During World War II, Turing, who was part of a team of scientists working at Britain’s Bletchley Park Government Code and Cipher School (GCCS), built a complex electro- mechanical machine called the Bombe to help decipher secret codes and transmissions. The Bombe was a significant achievement, and the starting point for Turing to develop more advanced computer prototypes throughout his career.  
    
As arguably the most famous computer scientist to work in the public sector during his time at the GCCS, it’s of no surprise that this year’s Conference is of particular relevance to the public sector. Visitors will be able to learn about the latest technologies and have access to new best practices via 100+ sessions that will match their industry needs.

Programme and highlights
RSA Conference Europe has always delivered high-quality speakers and world-class track sessions – and this year’s line-up is no different.
    
Amongst this year’s prestigious keynote speakers are Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones DCMG, Shadow Security Minister; and Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office.
    
Thomas will be discussing the ever-evolving landscape of information security, how the role of the ICO is being strengthened and what the ICO’s approach will be following the recent high-profile data losses across the UK’s public and private sectors. Understanding how the landscape of information security is changing and how organisations can learn from the mistakes of the past, manage risk effectively and plan for the future are just some of the questions Thomas will be discussing.  
    
In the closing keynote, Baroness Neville-Jones will focus on the issues, both practical and political, that government and society face when developing a national security agenda. During her early career, Pauline was a British diplomat having served in then-Rhodesia, Singapore and the USA, amongst others.
    
Since then, she has held a number of security posts, including Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Defence and Overseas Secretariat in the Cabinet Office (’91 to ’94), and she became Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee between ‘93 and ‘94. She also served as Chairman of defence technology specialist QinetiQ Group PLC from 2002-2005.
    
In January 2006, she was appointed by David Cameron to head the Conservative Party's National and International Security Policy Group, and on 2 July 2007 she was appointed Shadow Security Minister and National Security Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition.
    
Central to RSA® Conference Europe are its high-quality educational track sessions. Technology companies and end-user organisations are invited to submit papers for sessions in which they will share experiences around real-life security demands and deployments – and to discuss today’s most burning security issues.
    
RSA® Conference Europe’s final session agenda is preceded by an extensive review process normally taking place in the spring, by an independent selection panel.
    
This year’s agenda includes speakers drawn from across the whole value chain, including major brands such as Nokia, eBay, BT Global Services and Verizon Business. Representatives from research houses such as Cryptography Research, Freeform Dynamics and Forrester Research will also be presenting.
    
This year’s session tracks include a track on governance which will feature a session on data security regulation in the UK and Europe, delivered by Anna Buchta, Policy Officer, European Commission.

For more information
For more information and to register, visit: www.rsaconference.com/2008/Europe/Registration.aspx

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