RSA Conference 2019 USA: What you can expect at this year’s event

It’s that time of year: RSA Conference 2019 USA is a little over a month away. To prepare, we asked Britta Glade, Director of Content and Curation for RSA Conference, to tell us more about this year’s event. Read our Q&A for more on what’s in store at the world’s largest gathering of information security professionals.

what to expect at RSA Conference 2019 USA

What have been the major security developments in the past year, and how have these informed the conference agenda for 2019?

In 2018, the cybersecurity community stepped into an era of increased regulation. We watched as organizations around the world began to adjust to new regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy act, and as Congress brought leaders of tech giants into the limelight to testify on topics like breaches and consumer privacy. As the industry figured out how to adapt to these changes while managing burgeoning third-party risk, a new cybersecurity community emerged. A community ready to engage in a level of detail we don’t recall seeing before, with enterprise users willing to share more depth and specifics. One thing is clear, the collective cybersecurity community is sharing, engaging and enabling each other to make the world better – our theme for this year’s conference.

These developments were echoed in the almost 2,200 speaking submissions we received as a part of our Call for Speakers, and lead the direction for several of our tracks. For example, the new Protecting Data & the Supply Chain Ecosystem track tackles how cloud adoption, overall architectural changes, geopolitical conditions, GDPR and similar regulations, and everything as-a-service, have pushed organizations to think differently about managing software supply chains, third parties and their risk management posture.

Another security topic that rose to the top is major architecture and infrastructure change through the establishment of cloud as a given. The Cloud & Virtualization Security track will discuss the middle state many organizations are currently in, trying to straddle security of a “traditional” environment as their cloud adoption accelerates. And, while AI and automation are still hot topics, submissions around the human factor abounded with such interesting insights that, in addition to our Human Element track, we have added a Monday seminar that features cutting edge academic research in the space and technologists working on a wide range of solutions to best position humans to succeed. Also on Monday, there will be a half-day talent seminar and half-day mentoring forum.

What unique programs will be of particular interest?

We are introducing a CISO Bootcamp program this year, which was developed as a result of feedback from our CISO audience around the value of closed, quiet and safe conversations with direct peers. CISO Bootcamp will be a one-and-a-half-day program where 100 CISOs from some of the world’s most prestigious companies will join for candid conversations around trends, tactics, learnings, challenges and more. The content for this program was uniquely developed by CISOs themselves to spark effective discussion and get right down to the heart of today’s issues.

Another noteworthy track new to Conference this year is Bridging the Gap: Cybersecurity + Public Interest Tech, created by Bruce Schneier and the Ford Foundation. This full-day track is designed to dive into the emerging field of public interest technology which is comprised of individuals using their skills in technology to change the world for the better. If this is the first time you’re hearing of public interest technology, you’re not alone. Bruce Schneier and the Ford Foundation recognize a growing need and an opportunity to bridge the gap between what technologies are trying to build and what social scientist and policy experts are trying to address. And, this track at RSAC allows cybersecurity professionals to get involved and immersed in the conversation for the first time.

We are also looking forward to the discussions around Cybersecurity Future Proof: 2025. This program delivers a rare look into the security crystal ball and include traditional presentations and interactive lab-like sessions, designed for the cross-section of RSA Conference attendees from technology, business, academia, policy and law to help frame future thinking, starting now.

What else is new this year at RSA Conference?

There are so many new aspects that we’re excited about this year! First of all, the Moscone Center construction is officially complete (hooray!), and with that we will have an Expo in one contiguous space, a covered pedestrian footbridge between Moscone North and South, and a South Stage that allows for expansion of our keynote program to two stages. Our West Stage keynotes will continue to feature sponsor keynotes, panels, and esteemed speakers, and our new South Stage keynotes will bring longer format content to a broader audience.

Other new offerings this year include an Expo Plus pass, extended RSAC College Day, a seminar on Solving Our Cybersecurity Talent Shortage, an Interview Skills & Resume Review Workshop, Intro to Capture the Flag, RSAC Launch Pad, RSAC After Hours, First Timer Orientation, Safe Walk Program, a prayer room, and Mindfulness & Movement event.

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