Greetings from the RSA Conference! It's that time of the year again when security folks from all over the world get together. The show really kicked off yesterday, here are my initial observations:

1. The event is packed! There are more geeks here than a combined Star Trek/Star Wars convention. I hear that attendance is up some 15% to 20%. There are a couple of spill-over areas where booths are set up in hallways.

2. I've seen a lot more visibility from vendors who've been more hidden in the past. Sun's name is everywhere, HP has a huge well-placed booth, and even Oracle grabbed an advertisement front-and-center on the show program.

3. Bill Gates gave the keynote yesterday as he has for several years. Unlike past performances however, I thought that he knocked it out of the park. Microsoft is on the offensive, talking about Vista, smart cards, trust, and identity. It also will have products that do all this stuff in 2006. Finally, Microsoft is talking about securing business processes, not security widgets. The security people who scoff at Microsoft are about to get blindsided.

4. Did you know that IBM has 3200 security consultants around the world? This army also works side-by-side with IBM's business consultants who actually build security into their projects. What a concept! IBM has just released its security framework which helps customers follow its proven methodology and build real security processes. IBM should turn up the volume and tell people about its strong security services assets. It's okay to brag.

5. One more tidbit. If you're fed up with SPAM here's a web site you should look at, This site is sponsored by GeoTrust who ranks sites for fraud based on a number of risk criteria and user feedback. Add this to your list of resources.

Gotta go, more cheap give-aways and cryptography chatter is just around the corner!