This week is a tale of two cities in the technology conference world, Orlando and San Francisco. One is the city of endless family fun and the other is known for its famous prison, Sea lions, great food and alternative lifestyles. Two conferences overlapped this week, HIMSS (http://www.himssconference.org/) in the home of NBA’s Magic and the RSA Conference (http://www.rsaconference.com/) in the land of Giants and Forty-Niners.
Usually I attend one or both of these events, but this year I just stayed home. I miss the camaraderie, the networking, endless meetings and over-indulging dinners. However, staying home has me keeping up with my ongoing projects and is probably the right choice this year to improve productivity. Just keeping up with the social media and the blogs of either of these events is almost impossible as there is just so much information. Let’s do a little virtual traveling to the RSA conference.
The RSA Conference is marketed as “Where the world talks Security”. This 23 year old conference on information security provides opportunities to learn about IT security’s most important issues. An interesting article recently appeared in a peer’s blog. Larry Walsh and his organization, Channelnomics, published the article “RSA: Too Much Spent on Antivirus Tech”. By the title alone, you can surmise that many companies are spending a small fortune to combat the ever present threat of viruses infiltrating their company and causing productivity losses and even worse. If your computer has ever had a virus, which estimated rates vary wildly based on the source (Google “computer virus infection rates” and see the close to 4M results), you know the trouble they can cause.
I have had viruses in the past (after re-reading that line – it could be taken the wrong way!). I once registered for a networking meeting and contracted a virus from the site that completely shut my system down. I was at a client site when it occurred and had to calmly close the computer and then leave earlier than I had planned so that I could resolve the issue. I ended up having to pay to have the virus removed and system restored. Using a local vendor in my home town, I was introduced to AVG. AVG was started in 1991 and provides a variety of security softwares. AVG is widely accepted and used by many individuals and organizations. They have a free version (which is what I use for my personal devices and highly recommend) at http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage
Organizations pay for virus protection based on how they value the risk to the organization and how clients or customers would view their decision. If your financial institution used the free version of AVG to protect their systems against viruses, you probably would consider a different financial institution.
Personally, I think virus protection costs too much. Annual license fees for products from McAfee, Norton and others range from $29.00 per year per machine to $79.99 and even more (here is a good review of antivirus software http://www.pcmag.com/products/1594?Price=[0%20TO%202425] My recommendation is to go with something that works and is easy to use. Try some of the free versions to see if they meet your needs.
Wrapping up this little visit to the RSA conference there are hundreds of topics covered, please let me know if there is something you would like me to cover.
As you may have guessed by the title of the blog, this week’s song reference is by “Uncle” Joe Walsh (long story about my father marring a Walsh that makes Joe an “uncle”) and the classic tune “In The City”
Somewhere out on that horizon
Out beyond the neon lights
I know there must be somethin’ better
But there’s nowhere else in sight
It’s survival in the city
When you live from day to day
City streets don’t have much pity
When you’re down, that’s where you’ll stay
In the city, oh, oh.
In the city
From the truly bad (but somehow good) movie “The Warriors” here’s the video of the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVqktmlik4A