What’s new at RSAC 2018?

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new rsac 2018With the most significant global information security event just around the corner, we caught up with Sandra Toms, VP and Curator, RSA Conference, to find out what attendees can expect in San Francisco, April 16-20, 2018.

What is new at RSA Conference this year that you’d like to highlight?

One exciting thing we’re introducing this year is Broadcast Alley, which you could consider the “unofficial newsroom” of RSAC 2018. Publishers, sponsors, partners and exhibitors can reserve a recording booth in Broadcast Alley to tape interviews or live news reports. RSAC supplies the space, supplies and even a filming crew if needed. In addition to drop-in spaces, several broadcast outlets will have their own booths in Broadcast Alley, recording exclusive interviews with cybersecurity VIPs. It will be located next to RSAC TV in the lobby of Moscone West, so stop by and see what all the buzz is about.

Another addition this year is our late-night Ninja Session Series, created for those night owls who just can’t seem to turn their brain off after a packed day of RSAC. These sessions, hosted on Tuesday and Wednesday nights starting at 6:30 p.m., explore technical solutions to industry challenges like privacy and security, network availability and strategies for scalability. Check out the program guide, the online agenda or the listing on the mobile app for more info.

Lastly, is the RSAC onDemand program. Part of AdvancedU, this is an exciting opportunity for individuals who aren’t able to attend RSAC to have access to select livestreamed sessions and on-demand recordings, such as the Industry Experts Track and the Securing Diversity seminar.

What factored into the addition of RSAC onDemand?

We recognize that not everyone has the time, the ability, the flexibility or the budget to travel to San Francisco for a week, so we wanted to offer this up as an alternative for those who cannot attend in person but wish to tune in throughout the week of RSA Conference. College students, for example, are often unable to fly out and attend the conference, but they are always eager to learn from industry experts just the same, so we wanted to develop a program that gives everyone access to select sessions and provide that opportunity to learn digitally.

You recently announced the keynote lineup for this year, tell us a bit more about that.

The keynotes this year will bring a wide range of inspirational stories to the stage on topics like cyber bullying, gamification, AI and the history of technology and innovation. I truly believe our keynote program this year will leave a lasting impression on attendees and inspire all of us to think differently about security and the world around us.

With that said, our speakers this year are a mix of executives and leaders at the top of their field, technologists, scientists, best-selling authors, activists, futurists and policy makers. Yet each of our keynotes have this in common: their topics are true to our 2018 RSA Conference theme, Now Matters.

Here’s a quick overview of the guest speakers and sessions attendees will see on the main stage:

The Hugh Thompson Show: Artificial Intelligence: Security guru and RSA Conference Program Committee Chair, Dr. Hugh Thompson will bring together experts Dr. Dawn Song (professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Berkeley), Dr. Kate Darling (Mistress of Machines. Human-Robot Interaction, Robot Ethics, IP Theory and Policy, MIT Media Lab) and Dr. Sebastian Thrun (founder and president, Udacity) to explore the many layers of artificial intelligence, and its application and potential to help—or hurt—humanity.

The Five Most Dangerous New Attack Techniques, and What’s Coming Next: Panelists from The SANS Institute, Ed Skoudis (top hacker exploits expert/teacher in the U.S.), Johannes Ullrich (head of the Internet Storm Center), James Lyne (top expert on cyberattacks in the U.K.) and moderator Alan Paller (director and founder of SANS Institute) will provide an update on the most dangerous new attack techniques, how they work, how they can be stopped and how to prepare for what’s coming next.

The Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security will sit down for a Q&A session with CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa.

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Saujani has been named one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders, Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year.

Jane McGonigal
, PhD, Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future, New York Times bestselling author, inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter.

Margot Lee Shetterly, writer, researcher and entrepreneur who authored Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

Monica Lewinsky, public speaker, writer, contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, a founding board member of the Childhood Resilience Foundation and social activist in the battle against online harassment—advocating for a safer social media environment.

The Cryptographers’ Panel: The Past, Present and Future of the Industry: Panelists Adi Shamir (Borman Professor of Computer Science and The Weizmann Institute, Israel), Ronald Rivest (MIT Institute Professor), Moxie Marlinspike (Founder of Signal), Paul Kocher (Security Researcher and Consultant) and Whitfield Diffie (Cryptographer and Security Expert, Cryptomathic) talk with Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA, on the past, present and future of information security.

Tim Urban, Creator of Wait But Why, will share his own story of coming to understand how his own mind works with head-spinning thinking, quirky graphics and his signature stick figures representing the major “players” in his head that battled over the steering wheel, and how it relates to us all.

Additional keynotes include the following executives from our sponsor organizations:

  • Andy Ellis, Chief Security Officer, and Josh Shaul, Vice President, Web Security, Akamai
  • Rohit Ghai, President, RSA
  • Samir Kapuria, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cyber Security Services, Symantec
  • Rami Rahim, Chief Executive Officer, Juniper
  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • John N. Stewart, Senior Vice President, Chief Security and Trust Officer, Cisco
  • Christopher D. Young, Chief Executive Officer, McAfee
  • Marc van Zadelhoff, General Manager, IBM Security.

Aside from what’s new, is there anything returning that you’d recommend attendees check out?

I would definitely encourage attendees to utilize the Reserve a Seat function prior to RSAC to enroll in chosen sessions ahead of time. Last year, more than 40,000 attendees experienced keynotes, peer-to-peer sessions, track sessions, tutorials and seminars, so to avoid missing a session you’ve had your eye on, we strongly recommend reserving a seat as early as possible.

In addition, we’ve continued developing a more robust functionality on the Sessions & Events page. These include powerful browse and search features, the option to tag and view favorite sessions and the ability to view your schedule/favorites in a day planner format. You can view sessions by core topic, delivery format or special tracks. We’ve even provided a page so you can read the definitions of some of these advanced filtering options.

RSA Conference 2018