The RSA Conference: It’s Still the People

By Phil Reitinger

Thursday last week I was somewhere over Utah, headed back to the East Coast after three-and-a-half days in California at the RSA Conference.  I was thinking about last year, when I wrote a blog called RSA: It’s the People about why I come to RSA every year.

The sessions can be very interesting, the keynotes provocative, and the exhibit floor educational. But that is isn’t why I come every year. I come because it is the best chance and place to connect with the infosec and privacy community. I’ve by far lost count of the number of people I’ve talked to this trip, and I bet the same is true for you. And while the planned meetings can be great, or not, often the chance encounters offer the greatest ROI.

All that is still true.

Last Monday I wrote that every year I’ve been able to make one cybersecurity prediction: next year, things will be worse.  It occurs to me that there is another prediction I could make almost every year: next year, I will come to RSA.

Not so long ago I walked into a restaurant and saw a couple of old friends having lunch, right beside my table.  I very much enjoy those encounters.  RSA is like that, but instead every month or so, they happen multiple times in an hour.  The conference is wonderful stew of planned and unplanned events.

I am also heartened by something else.  Every year there are new RSA buzzwords, like “Blockchain” and “AI.”  One of the buzzwords this year was “Community.”  From functional organization like GCA and CTA, to new collaborative efforts like the Tech Accord, communities are working to solve real problems.

See you next year.

The author, Phil Reitinger, is the President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. You can follow him on Twitter @CarpeDiemCyber.