Welcome to the Securosis Guide to the RSA Conference

WAY back in 2010, we here at Securosis decided to put together a little guide to the RSA Conference. RSAC at Moscone CenterSure, there’s the official conference schedule, session descriptions, show floor map, and heck, even an entire website, but we thought people would appreciate an actual hands-on guide with a little analysis. You know, things like key themes we expect to see, analysis of major security segments, recommendations for decent restaurants, and even a breakdown of vendors based on what they actually do.

This year, the fine folks at the RSA Conference decided to let us post the content here on the official blog, and host the final PDF for conference attendees. All without any filters or editing.

We are fairly certain someone is going to get fired. We almost feel kind of bad about that.

We realize not all of you are familiar with Securosis or how we do things, so to kick off this year’s Guide, I thought I’d give you a little background on how we write the research, and what to expect. As an analyst firm we are fully committed to open research, which means we draft nearly everything in public on the blog, collect public comments, and then compile it into a paper. That way the world gets to see the research as we draft it, and can participate in comments and criticisms (we call it Totally Transparent Research). Sometimes we even draft everything on GitHub where you can see and participate in the entire editing process.

We follow the same process for the Guide to the RSA Conference (RSAC-G for short, and the final PDF to the Guide is here). Except this year we’ll put all the content up here on the RSAC blog over the next few weeks. 

The RSA Conference is the single biggest event in our industry. Love it or hate it, there isn’t a better place to put your thumb on the security industry and get a sense of where things have been, and where they are headed. But navigating such a large event and filtering out all the BS only gets harder as the event continues to grow. The goal of the RSAC-G is to help you better plan for, and take advantage of, the event. 

We’ve been going to the conference for over 15 years, which means at least a couple of us are closing in on spending four months of our lives wandering the halls of the Moscone Center. No, that isn’t something we are necessarily proud of, but by now we’ve learned the best combination of protein bars (ThinkThin), beverages (water and coffee), and clothing (a good hoodie and jeans) to survive the week. And it *is* a week now; the days of the three-day RSA Conference seem like a distant memory.

We break the RSAC-G out into three major sections, and always drop some last-minute snark and humor into the PDF just to keep you guessing. It starts with what we expect to be the major themes for the show—the threads you’ll see woven throughout the sessions and the marketing material on the show floor. Then we dive into the major security technology areas, going deeper on what you can expect to see. Lastly, in each of those we include a vendor list so you can plan your show floor trips by project needs. We even include URLs so you can find them after the event.

Over the years we’ve learned that RSAC, not December 31, is the best time to take stock of the security year. It’s the delineating event that many of the vendors plan their entire marketing cycles around. Thus this guide has evolved from a simple overview of a conference, to an in-depth annual review of our industry. At least, that’s what our enormous egos tell us.

As always, we’d like to thank all our Contributing Analysts who pitch in on this massive project every year —David Mortman, James Arlen, Dave Lewis, Gunnar Peterson, Gal Shpantzer, and Jennifer Minella— plus our ever-vigilant editor, Chris Pepper. And this year, we’d like to add the RSA Conference team for taking such a big risk in letting a bunch of snarky analysts post whatever we want on the official site.
—Rich, Mike, and Adrian; Securosis

Check out other posts in the series: Introduction
Theme posts: Change; Internet of Things; Professionalism; Compliance; Big Data; Bonk; DevOps
Coverage Area Deep Dives: Overview; Endpoint Security; Network Security; IAM; Cloud Security; Data Security; Security Management;
Download your copy of RSAC-G

Posted on March 19, 2015

Securosis Team

by Securosis Team


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