Security Minded - from Kai the Security Guy

Some thoughts on security (and other stuff) from a Microsoft security professional

Is Kai Axford Speaking at TechEd 2008?

Is Kai Axford Speaking at TechEd 2008?

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image The short answer is YES!

However, I'm not going to be confined to a single breakout room like I was last year. (ESPNism: "You cannot stop him, you can only hope to contain him.") If you remember, we had such a huge amount of folks wanting to get into the session I did with the FBI that we had to turn some away (fire codes and all that). For my follow-up Q&A session, the room they gave us was incredibly tiny and many missed out on some great info. Based on your feedback, that's going to change....

I suggested to the all-powerful TechEd Content Team that we already have PUH-LENTY of the dreaded and feared Microsoft "Death by PPT" lectures going on, so my suggestion was that we need to breathe new life into the way we do sessions. As you remember, I just spent the past week sitting through a bunch of sessions at RSA 2008 and I started to get "tired head" really fast. (I do have to give major kudos to those of you who suffer as monotone speakers drone on while feeling the need to read every single bullet point they can put in a slide deck. I just don't see how you do it.)

To end the glut of monotonous breakout sessions, I submitted and was approved to do the following at TechEd 2008.....

The Tech-Ed 2008 Security Show

You have spoken and we have listened. You like your colleagues, yet do not feel compelled to shoulder-to-shoulder in cramped quarters with them. I am also a man of moderate girth and like my room. "Why don't you move more sessions to the Expo Hall like you did for Marcus Murray's hacker sessions last year, O Microsoft TechEd Masters?" Well, my IT Pro brothers...that's exactly where Kai is headed! I'm going to be delivering not one, not two, but FOUR sessions on the TechEd Online stage!!! You can pull up one of those sweet little beanbag chairs they had last year, and relax....and be prepared to be enlightened as we make this event fun again. "Okay Kai...I've got my beanbag chair...I've got wireless connectivity...and I'm sufficiently fueled with abundant amounts of sugary snacks and carbonated beverages....but what is this new Security Show you speak of?" Well take a read at the abstract, and then I'll tell you a little about each program:

Does Oprah talk about Botnets?! Gonna hear Tyra use the words "data leakage"? Come watch “The Security Show”, with your host, Kai Axford!! It's fun! It's cool!!

Join Kai as he interviews security experts onstage about today's hot topics, getting the audience involved in the action! This series sets a new standard for doing TechEd!! Come and get your money’s worth! Join us from 1:00PM to 2:00PM Daily!

(The following episodes are proposed and are still awaiting final approval):

  • Episode 1 - Meet The Feds!
    • We welcome the gun-toting cybercrime team of the FBI, as they sit down and discuss the threats that they are fighting today, provide best practices and techniques for stopping the bad guy, and give you some insight into the deep dark world of computer crime. Get the straight 411 from the guys who fight it daily!

Back by popular demand, I'll be bringing Agent Allyn Lynd from the FBI's Cybercrime Squad back to Orlando, so he can scare inform us as to what is going on in the criminal world. If you want to know about the "underground shadow economy" and who's doing what to whom, and how they're doing it, Agent Lynd is the guy to ask. My plan is to get Agent Lynd to give us an overview of the threat landscape and then take it the audience for questions.

  • Episode 2 - Stopping James Bond
    • Espionage. Secret squirrels. Ninjas. Call them what you will, but yesterday’s international spy is today’s insider threat. Join us for an in-depth discussion with some of the top counterespionage experts in the world, as we hear about how these bad guys are stealing your intellectual property right out from under your noses, and more importantly….how to prevent it.

Well, my original idea was to have a former KGB or GRU intelligence operative come and show us exactly how economic espionage is conducted. However, it's not like I can just call up the Kremlin and ask them to send someone over. The group I reached out to had previous commitments, so they were unable to send anyone. Then I thought, we've all seen how this stuff is done...it'd be nice to hear from the guys who fight this stuff. So I've got a guest speaker from a government organization that deals with this threat daily. They're going to come in and tell you the real deal and how you can protect yourself and your business.

  • Episode 3 - Gates, Guards, and Guns
    • Today we’re going to be joined by the folks responsible for helping keep the Microsoft IT environment free from physical harm. Believe it or not, physical security of the datacenter is just as important as the other layers of defense-in-depth. Join us as we talk about new topics in the area like IP video surveillance and the convergence of InfoSec and Physical Security. Bring your tin foil hats!

I did a whole webcast series on Defense in Depth and one of the areas we got a lot of questions on, was the area of physical security. As IT Pros we typically don't think much about this other then the whole "laptop lock" or reminders to lock the server closet. With the advent of IP surveillance and more and more stuff moving to a digital format, we need to be concerned not only with what is being captured, but where the captured data is being stored and transmitted. I'm hoping to get the guys who do protect the Microsoft campus to come in a talk about this very important aspect of security.

  • Episode 4 - A Conversation with Steve Riley
    • You know him! You love him! Now hear the wisdom of Microsoft security visionary and world traveler, Steve Riley, as he pontificates on all things security. Steve has delivered some of the best sessions in TechEd history, with his informative and engaging style. You’ll be shocked and amazed, but you won’t be sorry you joined us.

A lot of you are familiar with Microsoft's Mr. Riley and the unique views he brings to the world of information security. I'm going to try and get him to come and join us for a chat, but in the event that he has some prior commitments, rest assured we're going to have someone that you want to hear. We want to be sure it's worth your time! It will absolutely not be some guy up there pitching some Microsoft product to you. If you want that, I'll need to re-direct you to the other sessions.

My goal for these episodes is ZERO PERCENT Powerpoint and 100% discussion and audience Q&A!!!!

Comments
  • Thinking out of the box and taking initiative... its a great mix... kudos!

  • And by the way, I plan to film three of the four sessions.  Assuming the recordings turn out well, I'll post them to edge.technet.com and our blogs.

    Cheers,

    Keith Combs

  • Yo Kai, where are you? It is May 27th. Your last post was April 17th. I know you have a job and family but dude, at least post a mug shot or something! Seriously, hope all is ok.

  • Hey Mr. Axford!  I'm glad to hear you'll be at TechEd!  See you there!

    (We'll have to do a video or podcast interview again this year, too!)

    -Kevin

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