March 5, 2020

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PrimeKey reflects on RSAC 2020 – The theme, interesting conversations and buzzwords

PrimeKey at RSA

The RSA conference theme this year was Human Factor. Organizers gave some insight as to why they selected the theme. Perhaps there was a side channel message reflecting last year's embarrassment when Professor Adi Shamir (the S in RSA) was not granted a visa to attend. Another way to think of the selection of “human factor” is that there were no other great sounding buzzwords this year. While in the recent 18 months, we had an increased use (and abuse) of AI and machine learning, in context of serious cryptographic applications, these technologies are not mature yet. Another noticeable buzzword, “blockchain”, felt lukewarm. The myth of blockchain as a panacea was nicely destroyed by cryptographer panellists, Rivest and Shamir, as you can see in clips from the Cryptographers’ Panel. At PrimeKey, we have always had a similar position - we like some advances brought in by some blockchain applications, for some use cases. Note “some” 3 times.

In the lack of real news, the regurgitated news about Crypto AG was a conversational topic. Essentially, the company had products with built-in compromises/backdoors and sold them to dozens of governments around the world for about three decades or so, abusing Swiss trustworthiness. This is yet another example why governments and serious enterprises should favour the open source products – you can have an independent third party analyse the code. While on the topic of open source, it is pleasing to observe that only a few security vendors still try to frighten the potential customers with a scary story about open source. It is good to see that, at long last, truth prevails.

At the PrimeKey booth, we were busy with literally everything between the heavens and earth. Speaking of heavens, aka cloud, EJBCA in Azure and AWS attracts an increasing number of enterprise customers, and we would like to shout out to teams at Microsoft and Amazon respectively for excellent collaboration and support. Stay tuned for more, PrimeKey will continue refining the offering and products. We already see appreciation for unique PrimeKey capabilities – a vendor that can deliver PKI across clouds and down to the ground (on prem), with the possibility to combine deployment modalities as the business needs – yes, including modern stuff such as containers. For the DevSecOps, PrimeKey has great support for ACME and other modern protocols. Finally, perhaps it is my bias – the biggest buzzword was missing at RSA – Industry 4.0 starts to meet security in a big way. Serious applications of PKI in an industrial context are starting to appear, and PrimeKey is one of the leaders in the area. During the conference, we met with a few analysts outlining our approach, where we preserve security of the IT world while at the same time respecting special needs of OT folks that are often ignored at the needs of factory managers who must deliver on the manufacturing plans. We had several great discussions with large companies, but this is only the start.

See you at Hannover Messe and ICMC!       

Learn about our new product, Identity Authority Manager, that integrates directly into a smart manufacturing environment. PrimeKey Identity Authority Manager

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Admir Abdurahmanovic


Admir Abdurahmanovic

Admir is VP Strategy & Partners and one of the founders of PrimeKey. With a strong background in IT Security and cryptology, he is one of the most experienced PKI experts in the world.

Contact Admir:

+46 708 37 02 37