Many CSOs view ShmooCon as an event of small importance. You don't see the suits and ties that are on display at RSA. In fact, to those who haven't attended, this conference is just a place where twenty-something hackers come to get drunk and throw TVs out hotel windows. Another crazy Black Hat/Defcon-caliber conference, more than one high-level security exec has told me in the past.

As with any security event, things can get rough around the edges. The security podcasters' meet-up on Saturday night was more like a Motley Crue concert than anything else. The podcasters on stage resembled the head table at a Klingon wedding. But drunken antics conference-wide were minimal, and some decent food for thought came out of the podcasting event despite the rowdiness.

The larger reality is that a lot of important talks happen here that have implications up and down the IT security food chain. It's also important to note that a lot of the young ruffians who come here are the very people who find the security holes so they can be fixed. They also build a lot of the technology CSOs lobby their upper management to invest in.

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