‘Twas the Night Before RSAC


‘Twas the night before #RSAC, when all thro’ San Fran,
No attacker was stirring, not even Shodan.

The booths were all built, the swag was all there,
In hopes that the hordes would actually care.

The bankers were nestled all smug in their beds,
While visions of IPOs danced in their heads.

And Mon with her keynote and I with my lanyard,
I’d charged up my phone, and was here to get hammered;

When out south of Market arose such a clatter,
I whipped out my phone to see what’s the matter.

The threatcon was still a calm level two,
Not Bears, or Kittens or Pandas. Then who?

Dozens of vendor pleas, all trite and lame,
They promised the moon, but used my wrong name.

“Please come to our booth! Get a shirt! Buy our things!!
Both Gartner and Forrester think we’re the kings.

Again. Delete. I banished their scrawl,
Dashing away from the exhib-it hall.

Then t’ward a party I flew like a moose,
Tore past registration and downed a Grey Goose.

When what did I spy in a sea of white men,
But tech that’s “advanced,” has “ML,” is “next-gen!”

A sole data scientist, so wiry and sparse,
I knew in a moment it must be a farce.

And then there were some, like bears eyeing honey,
Who saw all the CISOs and wanted their money;

So up to the guests by the bar they all flew,
With bags full of products and pitches, none true;

I’d finished my drink and was turning around,
When I froze, ‘cuz I had been run to ground;

Badge scanner in hand, logo bag on his back,
He looked like a wombat about to attack.

His widget was “scalable,” “unique” and “robust,”
Just buy it and go, there’s no need to adjust.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And clearly he thought that he’d earn lots of dough.

He pulled out his phone and went straight to work,
“So when can we meet?” it drove me berserk.

But before I could blink or hide my badge code,
He looked past my ear, and beyond me he strode;

He spied someone else with more budget than me,
And I realized that elsewhere is where I could be.

I love what I do but I hate being prey,
I had to stop pissing my budget away.

I needed a break from the endless alerts,
To fix what is wrong so it wouldn’t get worse;

Could I focus my time and my team on the things,
That would bring some real value? Make customers sing?

I don’t want to live in a world that’s so dark,
Where truth and reality both jumped the shark.

It’s working on what is important to you,
That keeps you from bidding security adieu.

I decided to seek out the folks I could trust,
To cover my backside while I readjust.

The tools that you buy and the hashes you know
Don’t determine your happiness: win, place or show.

So check out the talks in the con-fer-ence halls,
And even some parties and cryptonerd balls;

Then find, if you can, your security tribe,
The people with whom you share the same vibe;

It’s there you will find your burden made light,
Propelling you, arming you, into the fight.

So with that I say, be you vendor or geek,
Happy RSAC to all and to all a good week.

Expel doesn’t have a booth. We banned finger guns. We’re at the conference, and if you’d like to meet with us and talk about the way things could be – which our doggerel verse here hints at, naturally – head to http://info.expel.io/rsa2018 and grab a spot on our calendar.

If you want to talk about Expel, great … if you want to abuse us about our terrible poetry, that’s cool, too… and if you just want some Tylenol, Gatorade and a bagel sandwich, hallelujah and we’ll see you there.

We’ve been coming to this thing since it was still alternating between San Jose and San Francisco. And while the conference has changed a lot in the last fifteen years (in many ways lamentable), it’s still one of the best opportunities to get together with old friends, have a little fun and talk about how things could be.

Expel makes space for you to do what you love. And one of the things we love is catching up with old friends and talking some shop. Hit us up.