Attending Radware’s Executive Exchange: The State of DDoS Attacks, IPv6 and Snow Globes

By Tyson Macaulay – CISSP, CISA Bell Business Markets

NOTE:  Tyson Macaulay of Bell Business Markets, Canada, was one of the attendees at Radware’s recent Executive Exchange event in Prague, Czech Republic.  We asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing his thoughts on the meeting and helping us see the event from participants’ point of view.  

There is no substitute for going to a live event and meeting real people with the same interests and priorities – I don’t care where they come from or who they work for – even competitors. After 20 hours of travel, including running the gauntlet of Chicago – O’Hare Airport, I arrived at the Radware Executive Exchange Summit in Prague on Nov. 7th on a warm fall day.  (Well, warm for a Canadian, anyway – it was probably 12º C). I came to meet the people and that is exactly what I got.

The first session I attended was about the Radware virtualization management solution for data centres. This was entirely new information to me, because I know Radware from their load balancing legacy and more recent security products.  The level of detail related to the virtualization products was just right for me.  And even though it was not highlighted in the session, the security benefits of the image-compartmentalization were clear.  I should congratulate the Radware marketing team on keeping the message very crisp too: what, who cares and why.  One potential area for improvement next year would be a little bit more information about what the competition does well – versus what Radware does better.  Clearly, competitors have strengths not just weaknesses.

The first day was also the meet-and-greet at a club on the top of the Hilton with a view of the river and the Prague castle.  Excellent service and refreshments.  Most, if not all, of the Radware executives were there and they went out of their way to get me totally, socially networked within an hour!  I also managed to meet up with an executive from a security service provider (also a Radware client/user) who would become my wingman for the remainder of the social events; this was an added bonus because we could compare business models and strategies due to our geographically distinct and non-competitive locations. Like me, he liked cigars, too.

After about 10 hours of sleep I was on “Czech time” and ready for the first sessions, starting at 8:30 am Tuesday.  The information that stood out for me in Day 2 was related to a product called “InFlight”, which collects meta-data and statistics about any service by compiling it from the wire at line-speed.  In my case, this was interesting for a variety of anti-fraud applications on legacy services like mainframes where code updates to enhance logging are not practical.  Or where storage and log-writing is too CPU intensive.  With InFlight, this information can be compiled from the passing traffic and pumped into a SIEM.  I have arranged for a technical product presentation with my local partners here in Canada.

Tuesday night was a theatre event followed by a meal in the catacombs of old Prague.  Black lights, local dancers and Czech bag-pipes – a very well organized trip given the 280+ people who had to be herded from place to place.

Day 3 (Wednesday) was the day for executive sessions and networking.  From 9 am to about 11 I had the pleasure of reviewing next-generation security ideas with many top technical people in Radware including CTO Avi Chesla, CEO Roy Zisapel and several other VPs.  They were kind in showing interest in some emerging IPv6 security challenges and potential solutions, given that IPv6 represents less than 0.5% of internet traffic at this time and growing only slowly.  But everyone was fully aware that it is merely a matter of time before IPv6 is the dominant network-layer protocol in the world.  After lunch I was given an excellent briefing on the changing techniques associated with DDOS attacks, what Radware is seeing now in the security space, and how they are responding.

Thursday morning was the trip home to Canada.  Again, I had to go through O’Hare where the snow globes I bought for my kids in Prague never made it through security.  Thinking fast, I replaced them with dinosaur t-shirts from the Field Museum in Chicago, which I have never been to.  What are you going to do?



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