COMMON Launches IBM i Security Conference
August 17, 2022 Alex Woodie
Security is a big concern for IBM i professionals, and now the topic is getting its very own conference. COMMON recently announced that the inaugural i on Security 2022 conference will take place this October in conjunction with its NAViGATE conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
Security on the IBM i has been dismal for many years, according the annual PowerTech State of Security report, which has documented the poor security practices of IBM i shops. While the servers can be locked down as tightly as any in the industry, the combination of poor configuration, archaic programming models, and lazy administrative practices conspired to leave many systems susceptible to attack, from the inside and from out.
Awareness of the poor state of security on IBM i seems to have improved over the past few years, if not the security practices themselves. Security has been rated the top concern of IBM i shops ARCAD Software according to HelpSystems’ annual IBM i Marketplace Study. That repetition may have helped build some momentum behind improving IBM i security. Last year’s Summer of Ransomware, fueled in part by pandemic-mandated work-from-home policies and a surge in online activity, may have served as an inflection point to get business owners to finally invest in better security protection.
The motivation to improve IBM i security is culminating in COMMON’s two-day i on Security conference, which is taking place October 3 and 4 at a Hyatt Regency hotel in St. Louis, the same time and place as its NAViGATE 2022 conference (except the latter extends to October 5).
The conference will focus on providing practical solutions to help improve security. “Learn about what actions you can take to shore up your IBM i defenses to help prevent an attack,” COMMON says. “You’ll also learn about what you need to do to prepare for recovery from an attack.”
The user group has lined up 14 sessions for i on Security 2022, according to COMMON’s website for the event. Carol Woodbury, a renowned IBM i security expert who is the president and CTO of DXR SecurityU – as well as a former OS/400 security architect for IBM – will kick things off at 9 a.m. CT on October 3 with an introduction to IBM i security, followed with another session by Woodbury on managing user profiles.
Other speakers on day one include Robert Andrews, a senior managing security consultant who specializes in IBM i for the IBM Systems Lab Services Power Systems Delivery Practice in Rochester, and Thomas Haze, who works in IBM i cryptography at IBM. Pete Helgren, who previously sat on the COMMON board, rounds out the content for day one.
Day two brings more information from Woodbury and Haze, as well as sessions by IBM software engineer Wayne Bowers and Steve Pitcher, a security expert with iTech Solutions, which was recently acquired by Service Express.
Registration for the event is $895 per person for COMMON members and $1,195 for non-members. As previously mentioned, the conference runs in parallel to COMMON’s NAViGATE event, so attendees get access to the NAViGATE Expo and will also share meals together. But the i on Security track is separate from the NAViGATE track, and the sessions will take place in a separate room.
For more information on the event, go to https://www.common.org/security2022/home.