The first casualty of war is truth. Come the recession, the marketing budget is first out the door. But, unlike moribund tradeshows such as March's CeBIT, the UK's very own Infosec show is doing a lively trade in London this week.
Occupying a niche as it does, Infosec's never been the greatest show on earth. And, anecdotally at least, it's been bigger in the past. But all the major players seem to be there (albeit with marginally smaller stands than they take to the big shows), and the likes of Symantec, Kaspersky and Trend Micro tell PC Advisor that footfall is pretty good.
That said, when we were at Infosec yesterday ESET appeared to be reduced to throwing sweets at punters to get them on to its stand, there wasn't a huge amount of products being released, and BitDefender seemed to have mixed up its marketing stand with a small tent. Oh, and we saw at least three visitors wandering around, CV in hand, looking for work. So it's not all gravy.
But exhibiting, even visiting, a technology tradeshow is an expensive business. And taken as a snapshot the ongoing success of Infosec suggests that the internet security business is in relatively robust health.
Well, it's fair to say that the cybercrime business is bucking the recessive trend, and a strange co-dependancy exists between criminals, and those who do battle with them.
Where there's muck there's brass
While none of us are keen to dip our hands in our pockets right now, there are some products that you simply have to buy. Security software is relatively cheap to build, and easy to disseminate. And we need it.
As David Tomlinson, managing director of DES, told PC Advisor: "If you go to your CEO and say: 'We need encryption software'. He'll say: 'Will it boost the bottom line?' It's an argument you can't win.
"But with malware you're getting rained on every day. You need an umbrella, so antivirus software is a must have."
Note to self: invest in security.