Merritt Group Blog

RSA 2016: What to expect this year from the people who really know! - Tim Wilson, DarkReading

With the RSA Conference, the biggest cybersecurity event of the year, less than a week away, we thought we’d check in with some of our reporter friends to get their take on what to expect this year. We got some good feedback - some serious and some light-hearted - but all very interesting! Is the “hype cycle” (i.e. what’s “in” and what’s “out”) what is actually causing trouble in the security industry? Who is going to be the new security “darling” or the company everyone wants to hear more from? Continue below to see what Tim Wilsion, Editor of DarkReading, had to say, and then check back again this week for insight from our additional reporter friends!     

timwilson.png    Tim Wilson, Editor, DarkReading, @darkreadingtim
  1. What do you think the major trend/topic will be this year?
    When we conducted the annual Dark Reading/InformationWeek Strategic Security Survey in 2015, IT executives told us that their number one problem is managing complexity. At last year’s RSA, we saw vendors attacking that problem with analytics tools that promised to help them mine relevant information out of the tons of security data that their enterprises collect. But with more than 800 vendors represented at the show, I think most IT executives found themselves more confused than ever. This year, I hope that vendors will provide some context and show how their products work with other tools that the enterprise already has. The recent spate of threat intelligence platforms is a good example of how some vendors are helping enterprises to make sense out of information they already have.
  1.     Any topics or trends you think will be "out" this year, i.e. over talked about and old news?
    Personally, I think the “hype cycle” is one of the reasons we have so much trouble in security. We shouldn’t care so much about what’s hot and what isn’t. We still need antivirus, mobile security, cloud security, and data leak protection, even though those things might seem like “old news.” We’re still fighting vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting that have been around for more than a decade. I’d like to see more vendors talking about building an effective security plan – a real architecture – and less worrying about catching the wave of what’s hot.
  1.     What are you most looking forward to about RSA?
    For Dark Reading, the constant flow of interesting and important news at RSA makes it a great opportunity to break news for our readers. But it’s a double-edged sword, because every year there’s so much news that we literally can’t cover it all. We have five writers and editors covering the event, and we also post as many press releases from the vendors as we can physically get to. But it still seems like we have to leave a lot of potential news behind. I wish vendors would spread their news out more over the year.
  1.     Any companies you think are particularly "hot" this year that we should keep an eye out for?
    As an editor, I prefer not to endorse any companies, but I can say that the range of startups over the past year or so has been staggering. There are so many new companies in security, and some of them are bringing some really interesting new ideas and approaches to the table. Security needs new thinking. I’d encourage readers to take a closer look at the companies they haven’t heard of, just to see what’s out there.
  1.     Any "must attend" parties? We hear Rapid7 always has a good one!
    Lol! I’m still trying to finish my day schedule, so I haven’t really looked at the party schedule yet. There are literally dozens of them going on during the week. I think many of us editors try to get to the parties, but the best bet for finding a contact is usually by making a quick sweep at the bar at the W Hotel. Everyone ends up there eventually.
  1.      Planning to attend any of the keynotes?
    We will have a reporter at as many of the keynotes as possible. It’s hard to cover them all, but we hope to have same-day stories on many of them.
  1.      And most importantly, you're planning to come to our 3rd Annual Merritt Group "RSA Wine-Down" happy hour co-hosted this year with Code Red Thursday night at Bluestem, right?!
    I think it’s safe to say that by Thursday night, we’ll all be in need of a glass of wine!
Topics: Security CSO RSA