RSA Conference 2017: In Search of a Theme

This is the first year in a very long time that I have been at RSAC and not been there representing a major exhibiter. I was expecting that to give me more time to explore see things that I often miss. Turns out that is not the case.  Through a combination of having to walk further as the conference has definitely spread beyond the Moscone and the nearby hotels, and being stopped every few minutes by people asking what I am up to, I think I am actually seeing less than I did last year!

My big observation so far is that I am not really seeing one unifying theme. I do not mean the one that the organizers create which this year is the ever optimistic “The Power of OpportUnity”. I mean the common thing that appears in most presentations, stand shows and hallway chats. The only common thread as with so many other aspects in life at the moment is some degree of uncertainty in the forthcoming stances that will be taken by the incoming administration. If however you dig down a bit you do hear the usual perennial themes. The reality of the lack of skilled personnel in our industry. The need to provide effective controls to our information and identities. The fear that is building within organizations around their reliance on and therefore vulnerability to attacks on their IT infrastructure, be that DDOS, ransomware or fraud, I have heard a dozen people predict a major public business fails in 2017!

It is going to be a long week and I look forward to trying to see more of it.

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