Prossimo announces Tectonics: an event to shift the work of memory safety forward

Josh Aas
Jul 26, 2023

Tectonics Event - November 2, San Francisco

Not all that long ago, the idea of rewriting much of the Internet's critical software to make it memory safe was, if thought about at all, quickly dismissed as an unrealistic endeavor. And while this idea may still be ambitious today, there's momentum towards shifting the focus from dialogue to planning and execution.

That momentum inspired us to come up with Tectonics. The vision for Tectonics, happening November 2 in San Francisco, is to move the conversation around memory safety from "why" and "what if" to "how to." As one of our funders, Craig Newmark, noted, "I learned about memory safety bugs the hard way, back in 1985 when I was a programmer. We now have the tools to address this problem, so it's time to take action and eliminate these bugs and vulnerabilities by using memory safe code."

We recognize and are encouraged by the breadth and frequency of conversations around memory safety. While that is a strong wind in the sails of moving this work forward, Tectonics will be a day of proctored conversations led by individuals leading this work. Our goal is to collaboratively create a series of recommendations and guidance on how we can proliferate memory safety across the Internet.

In a day-long convening, Tectonics will use part of the day to hear from leaders like Window Snyder, CEO at Thistle Technologies, and Bob Lord, Senior Technical Advisor at CISA. The afternoon working group conversations will focus on addressing three topics:

  1. Adoption of memory safe languages in operating systems

  2. Dependency management

  3. Organizational roadmaps for deploying memory safe software

Through proctored conversations, the end-result of Tectonics will be clear and actionable recommendations that Prossimo will publish and distribute. We're excited about the idea of a 2.0 conversation that will bring clarity to our collective work to build a more secure Internet for everyone, everywhere.

Tectonics sponsorships begin at $5,000 and are available now. Registration will open later this year, however you can save the date now to be notified once registration opens. Prossimo is a project of Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. ISRG launched Prossimo in 2020 to bring greater attention and resources to tackling the problem of a lack of memory safety in the Internet's critical infrastructure. Since its founding, Prossimo has funded nine initiatives with more than $5M in funding to rewrite critical components of the Internet.