Can you believe we’re mid-week already? Crazy how fast a week can go by when you’re having fun! I am completely energized by you – our attendees – each day I have seen you sharing and learning to better secure our world. More than anything else, this type of communication is what makes RSA Conference such a unique experience.
After attending the RSAC speaker's cocktail reception on Tuesday night I had a moment to reflect on all of the stellar content that our program committee selected this year. A huge thank you goes out to our program committee team! I have to single out the incredible efforts of RSAC Content Director Jeanne Friedman who is responsible for the sessions that are being discussed and debated across the Moscone Center. During the speaker reception I also had a chance to meet a first time presenter (I won’t embarrass him with the shout out) who was so excited for the opportunity to share research he’s conducting in the field of Cryptography. He had an interesting story on how he broke into security by chance in 1999 when his boss asked him to "go manage the security on a section of servers” in his IT department.
For those who may have missed it, the charity: water challenge kicked off at The Sandbox on Tuesday. During this challenge we’re looking for 300 attendees to walk with a full jerry can of water, simulating the conditions for those who have to struggle for clean water each day. Once 300 of our attendees complete the challenge, RSA Conference will fund two water projects in Nepal, each of which will serve 400 students in need. At the end of today, we’re 60% of our goal with 184 attendees answering the bell. This effort will continue through Thursday and I hope to see you there!
Today had another great round of keynote speakers such as FBI Director Comey, Michael Fey of Intel, Stephen Trilling of Symantec and 19 year-old Taylor Wilson. I’ll be honest, although all of our speakers are great, I was blown away at this young man taking the keynote stage to discuss his keen interest in science. From the construction of a nuclear reactor and achieving nuclear fusion at 14 to the development of nuclear technologies in medicine, security and energy—his achievements are remarkable. Wilson also explained the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to help create the next wave of scientist to fulfill his dream of going to Mars as well as address the technology skills gap in many industries – including our own.
For those that may not have seen my earlier blog post, I am happy to announce that RSA Conference has joined the STEM Education Coalition (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with the goal of helping to drive innovation in cyber security with the next generation of students. At this year’s conference we’re challenging our community of public and private cyber-security companies to join this mission with us by becoming a STEM Education Coalition member. With a goal of uniting 20 of our exhibitors to the cause, the cost of membership goes directly to funds that lobby congress on education policy and deliver curriculum to teachers.
As an alumnus of Tripwire, I was incredibly touched to hear from Dwayne Melancon, CTO at Tripwire, who on behalf of the company committed to join our cause and the STEM Education Coalition. A huge thank you to Tripwire!! This was a great end to the day and look forward to many more taking the same steps as TripWire in the days to come.