James Bidzos begins by discussing his early career at IBM and as an international businessman in IT. He then moves on to describe how he came to take the helm of struggling software security firm RSA Data Security. He relates a number of early business challenges in financing and technology at this firm as it sought to commercialize encryption technology that extended from the research of MIT’s Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman—work that in turn built upon the invention of public key cryptography by Martin Hellman, Whitfield Diffie, and Ralph Merkle at Stanford University. In discussing how RSA developed into the leading software security firm, Bidzos describes the challenges posed by the government’s attempts to control the dissemination of encryption technology through export laws and other means. An important forum for debate on such issues (and later issues like the Clipper Chip) was the annual RSA Conference, a meeting that Bidzos initiated that included individuals from industry, government, and computer scientists, and evolved to become the leading annual event in the computer/software security field. Finally, Bidzos discusses the commercialization of encryption for authentication (signatures) by partnering with other major firms to found VeriSign.