Merritt Group Blog

RSA 2018 Trend Watch: GDPR, Cryptocurrency, Cloud - Oh My!

 RSA-2018-Trend-Watch

In 2017, a record number of 43,000 attendees descended upon the Bay Area for five full days of educational training from experienced industry practitioners at RSA Conference, the world’s premier infosec event. RSA 2018 is expected to have an even larger attendance and feature over 400 sessions (more than 30 hours of content), over 25 keynote speakers, plus high-level networking with thousands of the security industry’s best and brightest.

If you’re connected to the security community, you know that a handful of major trends always come out of the show — and you’ll want to know about them, whether or not you’re able to attend this year’s conference!

Our team did some digging into this year’s topics and tracks to give you the skinny on the hot topics you should know about going into the conference. Without further ado, here are five RSA 2018 topics that everyone will be talking about:

  • GDPR: Less than 50 days away from implementation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is about to change policies surrounding how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data. GDPR’s implementation date is May 25 and RSA will take place about a month before it goes into full effect. Not surprisingly, we see it as a recurring topic in this year’s privacy sessions and events.

    It’s worth keeping in mind that this law will also apply to global companies that deal with EU customer data. In the past weeks, we’ve seen executive apologies and crisis management emails from multinational corporations falling prey to data mismanagement, such as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and Under Armour’s recent MyFitnessPal app breach. It’s clear they’re feeling the weight of the responsibility to protect consumer data -- not to mention the heat of the inevitable legal scuffles over their EU customers’ data that will follow GDPR’s implementation..

  • Cryptocurrency security: Both “cryptography” and “protecting data and applied crypto” are hot tracks for RSA Conference 2018. Crypto-jacking has become a major cash pot for hackers; in January 2018, for example, cybercriminals stole over $500 million in the Coincheck hack.

    More than 30 sessions this year touch on cryptocurrencies and the larger category of applied cryptography, including blockchain, bitcoin, transaction protocol failures, ads leaking user data, payment security and more.

  • Cloud security: As enterprises and government agencies shift massive amounts of consumer and classified data to the cloud, they’re finding that cloud security can be a bit — forgive the pun — stormy. Expect keynotes and agendas to dig extensively into cloud security fundamentals, challenges in securing hybrid clouds, enterprise cloud adoption, the transformative nature of cloud, mobility and shifting application architectures, and reducing friction in cloud software delivery pipelines.

  • Mobile and IoT security: The booming popularity of connected devices has led to an increase in IoT hacks and leaks that no longer just compromise consumer data, but physical safety. Over the last few years, for example, IOActive researchers have hacked devices ranging from heart pacemakers to a Jeep to industrial control system (ICS) mobile apps. We’re increasingly seeing cyber-physical attacks and their far-reaching effects.

    “Mobile and IoT hacks” have thus earned their own category at RSA 2018 with more than 40 sessions on the topic. Expect to see sessions on IoT hacks and defense for cars, ICS and smart cities, ultrasonic communications, smart voice assistants, robots, physical security checks, the BlueBorne virus, mobile authentication and more.

  • Cybersecurity skills gap: It’s no secret that companies are challenged with finding and retaining the right cybersecurity talent. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. A good number of RSA sessions will discuss addressing the skills gap, creating talent efficiencies, securing diversity, empowering women and more.

We’ve seen some massive security breaches and heightened cyber attacks since RSA 2017 — the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks and major breaches at Equifax, Uber, Yahoo and Verizon. We’ve seen U.S. voter records exposed, data leaks from government contractor computers, and the rise of crypto-mining and crypto-ransomware. As the war on fighting cybercrime continues, we’re excited to work on the frontlines with our security clients to help make the world more safe and secure one day at a time. Hope you enjoy all that RSA 2018 has to offer!

Looking for the tips on promoting yourself at RSA 2018, or a quick digest on post-RSA highlights? Keep an eye out for new blog posts from our team each week. You can also contact our Cybersecurity Practice to start a discussion!

Topics: IoT Security 2018