The Official Vera Blog

September 21, 2016

Versus 16: Where Security, Art, Entertainment (and Illumio!) Collide

If you haven’t heard, Versus16 is the go-to security event this November. Unlike most industry events with endless vendor pitches, Versus will feature short, illuminating security talks about what actually works (and what doesn’t work) in the real world across the realms of cybersecurity, cryptography, policy, and secure collaboration.

And yes, I intentionally used the word illuminating because today we are excited to welcome Versus founding partner, Illumio!

Illumio is a company that continually challenges the status quo — and staying true to the core philosophy of Versus — by inverting the infrastructure security model in place for the past few decades.  Instead of driving data center application traffic through traditional chokepoints such as firewalls, network switches/routers or hypervisors, Illumio delivers adaptive security to every computing instance in every by activating what’s already available in the stack versus adding more infrastructure. I had the opportunity to sit down with Alan Cohen, Illumio’s Chief Commercial Officer, and ask him a few questions about why Illumio is excited to be a founding partner of Versus 16 and share what it means to re-imagine traditional security events.

How is Illumio challenging the status quo when it comes to security?

Illumio has been challenging the status quo since 2013, when we reversed the model of protecting the data center from the inside out, versus the perimeter in. Unlike traditional security solutions that focus on protecting the perimeter, we protect the 80% of application traffic in the data center and cloud that is traditionally ignored by the infrastructure vendors.

What excites you about Versus and what makes this conference stand out from other security events you’ve attended?

William Butler Yeats once noted “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” By creating a venue where security, art and entertainment converge, Versus will stir curiosity and spark conversation, something that is DESPERATELY needed in the security world right now. I’m especially excited to take part because Versus will cut through the noise, bring folks from a range of industries to engage in thought-provoking discussions.

At Versus, attendees will drop into a battleground where experts debate head-to-head the most controversial IT and security topics. No vendor pitches, dry panels, and no assumed agreement. These are real debates and real challenges we all face as leaders in security, collaboration, and productivity.

Why should people register to attend Versus? In your opinion, what makes this event especially unique?

The whole event is about linking, about shaping the future of security and innovation. Attendees will take home new, proven strategies for protecting their organization’s critical data in the cloud, on-premises, offline, everywhere. The unconventional format – for a security event  — feature short, powerful 15-minute rapid-fire discussions and panels.

We expect attendees to participate in a “contact” level of conversation through contributions and calling out FUD or B.S.  All too many times you see discussions where panelists nod heads and agree with one another. I can assure you Versus will feature fierce debates on encryption backdoors, security vs. collaboration, hackers vs. insider threats, and more. Speakers will debate some of 2016’s hottest topics in security, but it will be juxtaposed with live music, gourmet food trucks, and entertainment guaranteed to grab your attention.

Are you registered? Act fast because early bird pricing ends September 30th. Visit, and register today. Get important updates and announcements by following @VeraSecurity and @Illumio on Twitter, and by following the hashtag #Versus16.


By, Robin Daniels

Chief Marketing Officer

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