There I was last week in the Press Office at Infosecurity, looking around at the journalists and analysts wondering what had happened to the time and marvelling at the fact that this was my 15th Infosec! It‘s like a huge party for me now, every corner I turn there’s someone I know – and it’s great fun meeting the same people year after year! Many didn’t have kids and now they all have teenagers, including me. Some are onto their fifth or sixth job and literally move around the stands, branded in different T-shirts but still in the IT security industry! I remember when Reed Exhibitions first asked me to help them launch the show and together with the Sales Manager we scratched our heads wondering what IT security really meant! Back then, we only had about 60 exhibitors, and in our first year we got around 3000 visitors and about 25 journalists. What a difference 15 years makes, this year we had in excess of 12,000 visitors, almost 300 exhibitors and the analysts and press ran into the many hundreds! I know longer scratch my head wondering what IT security is all about, in those 15 years IT security has changed immensely it’s become mainstream, no longer do friends at dinner party’s disappear when I tell them what I do, now they actively engage in telling me how they secure their own computers and phones! Hallelujah – that means that all our surveys are actually paying off, infact it’s often our friends who have left their mobile phones at the back of a taxi, or given away their passwords for a chocolate bar!
IT security really is something that touches us all – our recent survey into ID theft which we carried out just before Infosecurity, illustrated the fact that IT security really does impact everyone. 42% of the 1000 people who we polled have had their identity stolen and 44% of people said they have suffered from bank/credit card fraud. So since I’ve been involved in this business, it seems things have got worse not better. However, things maybe on the turn. Last week’s announcement by the Deputy Information Commissioner at Infosecurity revealed that any company suffering from a data breach will now have to report it by law just as they do in the US. Plus there will be fines of up to £500,000 for those companies that don’t have sufficient safety measures in place to protect the data held on customers!!! Of course this is great news for the consumer, not such good news for employers and music to the ears of those in the IT security industry. I wonder what the next 15 years will hold. I’ve seen many a millionaire being created at Infosecurity even at this year’s show PGP and GuardianEdge were bought by Symantec and I suspect that in the next 15 years there will be many many more Infosecurity exhibitors who will look back on the show with a warm glow as they too are launched into the Infosecurity spotlight! Bring on number 16!