Schneier is a man whose security credentials are impeccable, who's probably the world's top security technologist. At the same time, he can talk about security concepts to a teenager - and the kid will understand exactly what he's saying.
When you realise that this same man is an inventor of the Blowfish, Twofish and Yarrow algorithms, then you begin to understand what the word intellectual means.
In his mid-forties, Schneier is a much less phsyically imposing presence than I thought he would be. But once he starts talking, he just grabs your attention.
He spoke to iTWire soon after he had delivered his keynote, "Reconceptualising Security", on day one of the LCA.
iTWire: Let's begin with a bit of geography and history. Which part of the US are you from? Where were you born, where did you study?
Bruce Schneier: I'm from New York, which you can probably tell by my style. I live in Minneapolis. My undergraduate degree is in physics, from the University of Rochester, New York. And my post-graduate degree is in Computer Science from American University in Washington DC. So that's sort of my academic resume. I started working at the US department of defence in security cryptography and security deployment. Then I worked for a start-up in the Chicago area and then for AT&T Bell Labs, and then in 1991 I set out on my own with Counterpane Consulting which became Counterpane Internet Security in 1999, and was purchased by BT in 2006.
What were you like as a little boy, in primary school?
I don't even know how to answer that question. I was regular, we were the smart kids. I mean, when you grow up in New York City, there are always programmes for smart kids. So they'll put them all in one class or two classes. I always had the benefit of being able to be put in classes for smart kids all through high school.
How did you come to take up physics?
That was in college, and I think I took it because it was what I liked, because it was math, but had real world applications. And that's what I got my degree in. But I always enjoyed it. In security, it was like more of a mindset than anything else. And back then there were hardly any computer science departments. So it was still very, very new.
FREE WHITEPAPER - REMOTE SUPPORT TRENDS FOR 2015Does your remote support strategy keep you and your CEO awake at night?
Today’s remote support solutions offer much more than just remote control for PCs. Their functional footprint is expanding to include support for more devices and richer analytics for trend analysis and supervisor dashboards.
It is imperative that service executives acquaint themselves with the new features and capabilities being introduced by leading remote support platforms and find ways to leverage the capabilities beyond technical support.
Field services, education services, professional services, and managed services are all increasing adoption of these tools to boost productivity and avoid on-site visits.
Which product is easiest to deploy, has the best maintenance mode capabilities, the best mobile access and custom reporting, dynamic thresholds setting, and enhanced discovery capabilities?
To find out all you need to know about using remote support to improve your bottom line, download this FREE Whitepaper.
A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.