As you probably already know, my full time job is to travel around the world speaking to execs and IT Pros about the world of information security. Recently, I was invited to speak at the North Carolina Technology Association's Five Pillars of Executive Leadership in a Non-Secure World Conference in Charlotte, NC. This conference focused on not only Information Security, but also physical security, economic espionage, contigency planning, intellectual property protection and several others. Since I tend to do this pretty regularly, I'm usually in the speaker lounge trying to troubleshoot a demo/find Diet Cokes, or floating about meeting all of you (and learning more than I teach, I might add....). They even got a spot on the local TV channel.

However, this lineup of event speakers is by far one of the best I've had the good fortune to be associated with. Take a look at just a few of the names on the list:

Philip Mudd, Associate Executive Assistant Director, National Security Branch, FBI/CIA

Russell Nelson, Special Agent in Charge, Secret Service

Thomas Mahlik, Section Chief, Counterintelligence Division, FBI Headquarters Counterintelligence Strategy and Domain Section

David Szady, Senior Vice President, Perot Systems, Former Assistant Director of Counterintelligence, FBI

H. Keith Melton, Author of The Ultimate Spy and world renowned specialist on clandestine operations and espionage

Gary Gardner, Director of Security, NASCAR

Safia Khalil Rizvi, PhD, Project Leader for US Flu Pandemic Vaccine Planning, GlaxoSmithKline

....the presentations were extremely interesting and if you have a chance to attend the event comng up this June in Raleigh, I'd say it's certainly worth your time. Listening to all these government (and former G-men)  types really opened my eyes as to what is going on around me. It also helped me understand the threats I should be concerned with when traveling abroad. Hearing about what foreign countries are targeting will make you want to ensure you're doing everything you can to lockdown your desktops. As Mr. Melton suggested, "Countries don't have friends....countries have interests."

I was honored to be listed on the same bill as these distinguished gentlemen and hope I get invited back in the future (I can say with certainty that I was the only one to reference "naked dancing pigs" during my panel discussion). Being told by these guys, who I respect immensely, Jack Bauer was not in attendance.....but with all these guys....he didn't need to be.

(Side Note: After discussing this with Mr. Keith Combs today, he's concerned I'm going to run off and join the CIA. I don't think they are real supportive of blogging.)