RSA Conference 2018: “Grab Your Beverage” Part Two

Cyber Security, Events Posted Feb 23, 2018 by Liza Vilnits

RSA Conference planning is a heavy-lift, to say the least… a process that even drives some to drink, according to last year’s blog post. Side note: that’s a joke.

With less than two months to go, though, it’s now that time when CHEN PR starts to pool resources, strategize about conference pitching and begin to get our arms around everything that is RSA Conference.

Before looking at what’s to come, let’s first look back.

The conference, having been around for at least 15 years (we couldn’t find the exact founding date, but know that it was renamed “RSA Conference” in 1993), has become the go-to show for all things cybersecurity. While Fortune’s Robert Hackett calls the conference “the biggest schmoozfest in the computer security industry,” he also refers to the show as a “barometer of key trends.”

Seeking to empower conference-goers to stay ahead of today’s ever-changing and evolving cyber landscape, RSA Conference brings together security leaders, pioneers and innovators to share what’s new and ground-breaking in technologies and threats alike. Today, drawing more than 50,000 people each year, vendors must bring their A-game to earn the spotlight.

Security Trends Over Time

Through a combined effort between RSA Conference organizers and Cyentia Institute, an analysis of roughly 15,000 speaking submissions was conducted to answer questions related to how we talk about security today and the topics that were the “trendiest” throughout the years.

As seen via the diagram below, terms like web 2.0, PCI-DSS and anti-virus were some of the most talked about conference topics in the early days; however, of late, the focus has shifted to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, IoT, GDPR, blockchain, bitcoin and some of the infamous breaches/attacks like Equifax and WannaCry.

Through additional analysis of the speaking abstracts, sessions focused on ‘IoT’ continue to trend up. Contrastingly, talks focused on ‘virtualization’ are trending down, while terms like ‘vulnerability’ remain flat year-over-year. The results are an example of “how topics enter the industry conversation, dominate it for a time, and eventually get outspoken by others,” says Wade Baker, partner at Cyentia Institute.

The CHEN PR Perspective

While we can certainly agree that topics like GDPR, ransomware, AI and IoT will dominate sessions and conversations at the 2018 RSA Conference, we also expect to hear more about the intersection of security and geopolitics – cyber aggression and nation-state hacking, critical infrastructure hacks and more. Devices and cyber tactics are being used for destruction across borders – how does this affect business and in what ways will global discussions and laws be influenced? We anticipate – and hope – to hear more on that front.

As always, the conference brings to light new and thought-provoking research and products. What’s just as stimulating, though, are the side discussions and meetings between industry influencers who take these dynamics and apply them to the real world. The conversations that take buzz words and show floor displays and bring them to reality – that’s what we’re looking forward to the most at this year’s RSA Conference.

To see what’s new for the 2018 show, and what conference organizers have brought back, feel free to look at the conference website here.

One thing we know will be back: The 10th Annual Disaster Recovery Breakfast. Hosted by our pals at Securosis, we enjoy sponsoring this shindig every year – always a great time to catch up with industry friends and meet new ones.

Stay tuned for more information about what some of our clients (including Claroty, Digital Guardian, Duo Security, Flashpoint, SafeBreach) will be up to at the show. More to come on that front!