Sri's Travel Log--Representing Security in Barcelona!

bocqueria.jpgThis is my Travel Log,  where I will write about my trip to Barcelona for HP Discover 2013.


I've been in Barcelona for the past 3 days, and it is an amazing place! So far, it has been an eventful trip with lots of things to write about.


First things first, HP Discover 2013 in Barcelona has been an amazing success with over 10,000 people. Great keynotes, new product launches, and some good announcements are keeping everyone busy with lots of information.


Security is at the forefront of the HP Discover. You have to see it to believe it!  Security is the first thing you will notice as you enter the conference halls representing the minds of users--be it CIO, CISO, IT manager or Analysts. Everyone is thinking about of security.


security.jpgFor instance, getting the business critical application or servers down is so 2010. Worst case, the people responsible to keep the lights on in IT department would have been yelled at or would have gotten a slap on the hand. Enter 2014, where one in two organizations' data will be breached (per Ponemon Institute study). Banks have collapsed, companies have lost 30% market value, Governments have rolled, the public has lost faith in federal aganecies, high-security clearances have been breached in defense, planes have been grounded, nuclear stations have been shut down, and more.


I know it's part of my job, but I really do think of security all the time. Last week, I wrote a post on how security operation center tools are like augmented reality apps on mobile devices that help you get things done in an instant. Today, I thought about security when I was in La Boquería, a great fresh fruit and fish market in Barcelona.


big data market.jpgWhen you look at this picture of the copious amounts of food, it tells me big data. How? Well, it shows a complex set of data from various resources in various formats. Each has its unique features and has its own story to tell. There are more than thousand varieties of foods that I saw--just like the number of vendors that provide security tools and events. It is so important to unify this data into a common language that you and I can understand. Otherwise, the communication between threats isn't open, and bad things can happen. So, lack of communication/understanding=potential bad things.


A perfect example of this: I almost had to go to the police station today! In Barcelona, you can get a T-10 pass that allows you to travel 10 times in any public transportation system without having to go through the hassle of using cash (big story on cash, will let you know in the next blog). Yes, there is no Uber here.


sri jail.jpg(I cannot believe that there is no Uber in Barcelona. This is the place where it could have been the most useful--yeah yeah world is different 25 miles outside of Silicon Valley.) The concierge at my hotel convinced me that with just one-pass, friends and family can ride. I did not believe this and asked at the counter of the ticket vendor, he swore the same thing. Still not convinced, asked a different vendor in a different station and she too told me that was correct. Well, I was finally convinced!


I went to station and changed trains, and in one of the stations (Espanya Plaza), a government official was checking tickets. He looked at my ticket and said that  I had breached their security and that I owed them explanation and a fine!


As nobody takes American Express in Barcelona, I had been paying for everything in cash, and my pockets were running dry. The officer said that since I didn't have a ticket or cash, they were sending me to the police station! I had to beg them to let me go to ATM so that I could get the money to pay the fine and, after leaving a few of my priceless posessions with them, they let me go to the ATM--assured that I would return with the money. 


The entire "supply chain" in my story had forget to mention one important detail: It's a family & friends ticket, but I have to swipe x times as people in the group. It sounds kind of obvious, but there was a lack in communication. Anyway, the point here, is that when you dont speak the same language, you usually miss small, but important, details. It's the same with security: When you have data from hundreds of sources from different vendors, they don't tell you the complete story. An important detail is generally missed somewhere. You need unification of data sources that unifies your security events and tools into a single and consolidated pane, like ArcSight.


hp disc.jpgI do have more stories to tell, but will keep it for my next blog entry. I'll keep learning more at HP Discover and update you through my twitter feed!  Follow me @Sri747 or the hashtag #HPDiscover.


Go visit to learn more about data unification so that you can avoid going to jail :)


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