I had a great time attending the RSA Security Conference last week. Downtown San Francisco is always interesting to visit. I’ve been there a few times, but there is always something new to see. This was my first time attending, and the conference was bigger than I had anticipated, in terms of the physical space and number of people.

I enjoyed mixing with members of the AD RMS product team and marketing team. I don’t get many chances to chat with them in person (since I work in California and most of them are based in Redmond). Each individual brings a unique perspective to AD RMS that I like to hear. 

The AD RMS demonstration environment that we brought with us highlighted the following: 

  • Integration with Exchange 2010 – The demo showed how you can create rules in Exchange that take advantage of AD RMS protection. For example, we set up a rule that protected messages going from a full-time employees group, in Active Directory, to a vendor's group.
  • Integration with SharePoint – The demo showed how to set protection policies on documents being added to a document repository.

Microsoft’s security partners had a visible presence at the conference. I had conversations with representatives from the following vendors:

  • GigaTrust – They have made it possible to protect many non-Microsoft file types, and they have a hosted AD RMS solution, among other products. Their rep. told me that the hosted solution is typically used by organizations that have people outside their AD environment that they would like to share sensitive information with (and federation isn’t feasible).
  • Titus – They make software that prompts content creators to choose an AD RMS policy. Their software can also add watermarks and confidential messages to content (I'm just scratching the surface here).

In conclusion, Microsoft’s security suite and AD RMS in particular were well received, in my opinion. There was a lot of interest in all of the Forefront products, especially Geneva and Stirling. I also felt good about the prospects for AD RMS, going forward. Customers had really positive responses to our demos. All in all, a productive week of personal education and interaction.

I’ll leave you with a smattering of questions from the conference attendees:

  • What is all this? (speaking of Microsoft’s booth)
  • What is Forefront?
  • We don’t care for Microsoft, but we like RMS.
  • Does RMS encrypt all the data on a USB key?
  • I really like the granular control that AD RMS provides.
  • Can you list all of the new features in Exchange 14?
  • I’d like to get a job at Microsoft.
  • Do you know George? He works for Microsoft. He was supposed to meet me here.