Day 3 Recap: Keynote Highlights, Early Stage Expo, CISO Boot Camp and More

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

We’re now past the halfway mark of Conference and wow, what a first few days we’ve had! From an Academy Award-winning actress to Ron Rivest, from the FBI director to countless engaging sessions across all four venues, it’s been a packed week. But don’t give in to information overload just yet! We’re still bringing you some amazing content on Thursday and Friday …not to mention Friday’s closing talk with Tina Fey! 

But first, a recap of today’s events… 

Wednesday featured 10 keynotes across the South and West stages. The first keynote on the West stage, The Power of People: Amplifying Our Human Capacity through Technology and Community, featured Microsoft’s Ann Johnson, who looked at how we can solve major security gaps. “We know tech alone will not solve the problem; we must focus on the power of the people to solve a tech problem,” she said. 

Citing a statistic that diverse teams make better decisions 87 percent of the time and pointing to rampant burnout, Johnson noted, “Our teams must be as diverse as the problems they solve…I’m calling on the cyber industry to renew its efforts to recruit cyber professionals outside traditional channels…this is a call for recruitment, for training and for retention. If we do nothing to address those gaps, it will impact every single one of us in our lives. 

In another West keynote, titled Weaponization of the Internet, Kleiner Perkins partner Ted Schlein moderated a lively panel with security executives from Facebook and Twitter as well as an advisor at the NSA and strategist at New America. Schlein dove deep into thorny topics, including the responsibility held by social networks in a weaponized Internet. “It’s clear threat actors work across multiple platforms so we’re working against many of the same adversaries,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cyber Security at Facebook. “We’re both tackling as similar security problem and working to deal with it.” Gleicher also noted a key challenge social networks face is balancing increasing friction to thwart bad actors while also keeping user interfaces smooth to foster healthy conversations among their communities. “It’s not easy,” he said. 

The discussion also touched on how to moderate intentional vs. unintentional malicious behavior. “Content isn’t as reliable as behavior; there are behaviors you can ID as attempts at manipulation,” said Del Harvey, VP, Trust and Safety at Twitter. “If you really go into the behaviors of both, they don’t look that similar.” 

Foreign threats continued to be a hot topic in the afternoon, as CBS News reporter Olivia Gazis interviewed General Paul Nakasone (United States Army, Commander, United States Cyber Command, National Security Agency) in a packed keynote titled Strategic Competition: The Rise of Persistent Presence and Innovation. The conversation of foreign threats and the NSA’s stance on them spanned the globe, from Russia’s election meddling and Huawei and China’s alleged hacking, to North Korea’s advanced cyber capabilities and the current state of ISIS’ cyber activity. Referring to NSA’s position on ISIS, Nakasone said “when we started out in 2015, the quality and quantity of [ISIS] products to recruit was at an all-time high. It’s not that way anymore, but we need to continue to maintain vigilance…we need to be just as agile and as rapid to recognize threats and act.” 

Despite the rain, the inaugural two-day RSAC CISO Boot Camp brought together 100 CISOs from around the world. In-depth discussions included topics such as strategy, risk management and governance (Tuesday) as well as risk & compliance, workforce, and crisis management (Wednesday). Attendees had great interaction with each other and engagement with our speakers and program committee throughout the day as well as during our tabletop exercise. 

The RSAC Early Stage Expo continued today at the Marriott Marquis, where 54 cybersecurity newcomers were showing off their innovations in demos at their kiosks. The Expo continues tomorrow (8am-3pm), which will be its final day so be sure to head over there before it’s too late! 

Thursday: A Preview Snapshot

  • Keynotes: We encourage you to check out the full schedule, and keep in mind that Conference will also be livestreaming some of this year’s keynotes. Here’s a few you won’t want to miss on Thursday:
  • SANS Core NetWars Experience – Intro to Capture the Flag– 8-9:30 AM at the Marriott in the RSAC Sandbox. Gain real-life hacking experience while working collaboratively with SANS instructors, Women’s Society in Cyberjutsu (WSC) members and fellow attendees to find vulnerabilities on networks. Enjoy coffee, bagels and networking, and leave with a better understanding of information security.
  • Bridging the Gap: Cybersecurity + Public Interest Tech– 9:20 AM-5 PM in Moscone south 301. This full-day session, brought to you in partnership with Bruce Schneier and the Ford Foundation, explores the professional field of public interest technology and how we bridge the gap between what technologists are trying to build and what social scientists are trying to address.
  • Birds of a Feather – 7-7:50 AM and 12:40-1:30 PM in Moscone West. Bring your breakfast or lunch to these discussions, some of which are pre-defined and led by speakers and some of which develop organically by design. Open to Full Conference attendees only.
  • RSAC College DayThursday & Friday, all Conference venues. Our annual College Day has been extended to two days and kicks off tomorrow. Designed for current students and recent 2018 graduates, College Day is the place to explore career options, hear from the best in the field, and network with leading companies looking for young professionals to reinforce their workforce.
  • RSAC After Hours: Comedy Club– 6:30-8:30 PM in Moscone South, Esplanade 157-160. You’re good for a network backup. How about a laugh? Get your fill of bottomless laughs — plus delicious food and cocktails— as comedians Tom Cotter, Kevin Flynn, Jackie Kashian and Dwayne Perkins take the stage, adding some good humor to a busy week.

On Thursday, Expo floor hours will be 10 AM - 3 PM and we encourage those who are unable to join us live to check out RSAC onDemand, featuring some of Conference’s most anticipated moments.  

Seen in the News

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference

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