NACACS 2013 in Dallas is done.  Take a deep breath of Texas air (compliments of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport HVAC system) and savor the sweet scent of knowledge and Cinnabon.

The morning session was a summary of some basic controls for managing cyber security threats. I’ll be honest– there was no new information here and it was basically a summary of what had been talked about all week. No harm no foul though. Not every session can be a home run. Sometimes a field goal must suffice (wait, what sport is this?).

The closing Keynote, Burning the Box by Bob Kodzis, was a great end to the week. You should probably Google that guy and learn about what he does. There was no technical knowledge here, but Bob discussed problem solving using creativity.  As an east coast, collar-buttoned stuffy IT auditor, it felt a lot like what I imagine a west coast, SoCal tech startup would be like. Bob’s premise is that we should nurture and practice creativity as the way approach problem solving. We get so caught up in our normal processes that we always come to the same conclusions.

Left coast or right coast, left brain or right brain, we can all stand to exercise the other half of our minds. The next time you approach a problem and need a solution, try doing the opposite of what you’d normally do.  When I’m trying to solve a problem, I stare out into space.  Onlookers may think I’m crazy or sleeping with my eyes opened, but there are a few gears moving up there.  Next time, I might walk around, listen to some Mozart, or play Angry Birds. “Seriously, boss, I’m brainstorming the next big idea”.

Thanks to ISACA for putting on a great conference.  The facilities were nice, food was delicious and folks were friendly. Hopefully we’ll make it back next year.  Until then, thanks for reading my updates. The RAS team is still blogging periodically so check back often. Cheers!