Tech writer Ronda Swaney attended our 7th annual Charlotte conference, and had this excellent summary of Thornton May's keynote presentation on the future of cybersecurity and the role of the defenders.
Outside the Charlotte Convention Center, it was one of those rare February days you sometimes run into in the south: the type of day that convinces you—no matter what the groundhog predicted about winter a few days before—spring is closer than you thought.
Inside the convention center, Thornton May, futurist and keynote speaker at the SecureWorld Charlotte cybersecurity conference, reflected that hopeful optimism, despite a crowd determined to side with the groundhog’s pessimism. May asked the crowd to choose a cultural artifact—a movie, TV show, or song—that captured the essence of the state of security today. Seated in groups of six at roughly 30 round tables inside the keynote theater, each small group brainstormed.
After about a minute of chat, May bounded from group to group, like a ’90s-era talk show host, pointing his microphone into the faces of quickly conscripted spokespeople. The Art of War, Mission Impossible, and It’s the End of the World as We Know It were a few answers offered. It’s not the first time May has asked this question in front of crowds just like this one. He’s talked to a lot of info and digital security professionals, and his conclusion from these interactions is: “The state of security is dark.”
But he takes his role as a one-man cheerleading team seriously, saying, “If you want to build a future you want to live in, then you need to get real positive, real fast.”