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RSA Conference 2016 Recap - Debating Critical Cybersecurity Issues

RSA Conference (RSAC), the world's largest gathering of information security and cybersecurity experts, concluded its 25th annual event last week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco with a record number of more than 40,000 attendees.

Keynotes, sessions and debates focused on the Internet of Things, industrial control systems, encryption, artificial intelligence and machine learning, crowdsourcing, healthcare, automotive and more, with many reflecting current industry news.

“Our 25th anniversary marks not only a milestone in the conference’s reach and impact in this important industry, but is also a testament to the work we as a community are doing together,” said Linda Gray, General Manager of RSA Conference. "There were a lot of great discussions over the course of the week, and I look forward to the positive impact these will make on our world moving forward.”

According to Citrix CSO Stan Black, “RSAC 2016 was a strong reiteration of the message that the industry needs a more comprehensive approach to ensuring information is secure regardless of platform. As security professionals, we’re responsible for ensuring information is protected regardless of device, platform or operating system. We don’t just use one, we use all solutions: cloud, mobile, network, data center, SaaS.

"Businesses need a method to ensure control between traditional infrastructures, cloud and mobile to establish trust with the customers. To get out of a reactive state and into proactively defending data, companies have to look for solutions that enable a control plane. Without it, there is no single source of trust," Black said.

Vormetric Vice President of Marketing Tina Stewart commented, "In the past year, the cybersecurity climate rose to a scorching temperature – as witnessed by the number of breaches and cyber attacks, as well as new legislative measures like the Cybersecurity National Action Plan and U.S.-EU Privacy Shield. This year at RSAC, we’re seeing traffic and interest from organizations that have understood the changes in cyber threats, and taken necessary steps to deal with them using data-centric IT security solutions.”

Conference highlights include:

  • Phantom was named “RSA Conference 2016’s Most Innovative Startup” by the Innovation Sandbox’s judges’ panel comprised of technology, venture and security industry thought leaders.
  • IBM announced plans to acquire Resilient Systems, while Resilient Systems debuted a commercial version of its Incident Response Platform
  • BT and Intel Security are partnering to bring together BT's security intelligence with Intel's advanced security tools in real time.
  • As expected, the recent Apple/FBI case sparked much debate on privacy vs. national security, particularly during the Cryptographers' Panel. Addiionally, Tripwire, a provider of endpoint protection and response, security and compliance solutions, conducted a survey of RSAC attendees and found that 81 percent of respondents said it is either very likely or certain that cybercriminals would abuse the government’s capability to access encrypted data if technology companies are required to provide it.
  • The Conference reached a new audience at the first-ever, interactive CyberSmart: Parents Education Workshop. Parents from across the Bay Area gathered to learn more about how to teach their children to interact safely with technology.
  • The inaugural Security Scholars Program brought together the brightest up-and-coming cybersecurity students from 10 participating public and private universities with leading experts, peers and conference attendees. Throughout the week, students made professional connections, discussed industry trends and participated in conference activities. The program concluded with a Poster Exhibition where scholars demoed and discussed their work while connecting with industry leaders.

The 19th Annual RSA Conference Awards program highlighted the work of four security professionals in the fields of mathematics, public policy and security practices. This year’s winners included:

  • Art Coviello, Jr – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Roland Cloutier, CSO, ADP – Excellence in the Field of Information Security
  • Professor Ueli Maurer, ETH Zurich – Excellence in the Field of Mathematics
  • Christopher M.E. Painter, Coordinator for Cyber Issues, U.S. Department of State – Excellence in the Field of Public Policy

Upcoming RSA Conferences include Asia Pacific & Japan on July 20-22, 2016, at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Abu Dhabi on Nov. 15-16, 2016. RSA Conference 2017 will take place Feb. 13-17 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Additional information related to this topic and cybersecurity jobs can be found here.

Article published by Anna Hill
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