RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2016 promises to be incredibly valuable for our attendees this year. More details on our stellar agenda continue to be added almost daily with care being taken to assure our delegates get maximum value for the investment they are making to attend.
We are particularly pleased to welcome many top-rated—we refer them to rock stars at RSA Conference!—speakers to the region this year. Earning rock star designation from RSA Conference is tough. It means the speaker has achieved an overall derived speaker score in the top 20 percent of all speakers at multiple RSA Conference events. This score considers many different factors, including interactivity, speaker presentation skills, avoidance of commercialization, and credibility/expertise with the subject matter. In other words—rock star designated speakers won’t disappoint, and RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2016 is full of them.
As with last year, we’ve analyzed all of the submissions we received to look for trends. We’ve done this analysis in the U.S. for a few years now, and it’s triggered some interesting observations. In fact, for an interesting analysis of the last 25 years of submissions, a review of the four-part blog series on the analysis by Wade Baker would definitely be worth your time. But I digress. Let’s look at RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan this year.
One of the biggest jumps, as captured in a single “word”, this year in our submissions was intelligence. The discussion around intelligence sharing has continued to increase globally, as we see further formalization of processes, standards, focused groups and a dedicated emphasis—within the walls of single organizations, industries and countries. That’s definitely reflected in the sessions on the agenda. But this year we also saw intelligence reflected in presentations designed to explore machine learning and artificial intelligence (machine showed up for the first time this year in the word cloud, too). As an industry, we seem to be at the early frontiers of discovering how to best apply this second kind of intelligence to help us do our jobs better, but we also want to make sure we do it responsibly, keeping the AI in check. We imagine we’re just at the front end of a huge wave of development here.
Not surprising—but always great to see—are learn and learning—big and prominent in the usage analysis. RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan continues to be a place of learning, where practitioners and experts are willing to share and engage with one another, helping the community to benefit from experience. All of the presentations end with an “apply” slide that helps attendees to learn from what has been presented and purposefully apply it to their jobs. We are a conference that aspires to drive action and real positive change in how people do their jobs and protect organizations.
In the past few years, we’ve also noticed a steady up-tick of our in-region attendees’ interest in privacy. It’s exciting to see the evolution of security within organizations and the role it is playing at the intersection of business, legal, and technical conversations. This journey has triggered many new relationships and concerns for security practitioners, and chief among them privacy. So this year, in addition to great content offered directly on our agenda to address this intersection, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has also chosen to co-locate its regional event—the IAPP Asia Privacy Forum 2016—with us and is offering a tremendous one-day program for privacy practitioners. Our attendees are welcome to join their event at a reduced rate and we’re also welcoming those same practitioners to attend RSA Conference with a similar arrangement.
Encryption has become “hot” again in the security space, at least as measured by your submissions. And this isn’t just the “super academic, based on an algorithm and understandable only to the smartest .01% of our population” kind of stuff—it’s applied-crypto, solving really unique use cases. It’s also a reaction to perhaps the biggest story of the year in the security space—FBI vs. Apple. The policy and privacy conversations in and around encryption figured prominently in submissions as well and, as such, are reflected in the presentations selected by the Program Committee.
Fascinatingly—in line with the second life-of-application that it seems to be seeing—blockchain also broke onto the APJ word cloud this year, albeit very small. The Program Committee was intrigued by some of the submissions reviewed in and around blockchain, particularly vis-a-vie its application outside of financial transactions. We see this as a worthy space to continue to monitor as, globally, there are some very interesting use cases and applications emerging here. Given groundbreaking work in this area, it’ll be interesting to see if this trend finds its way onto our Abu Dhabi cloud later this year.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan if we didn’t have some very focused, very eye-opening research and analysis around the threat landscape in this region. We have an amazing line-up of speakers looking at everything from focused cyber threat actors to ransomware to social media to botnets to the dark web—and how all of these look and act differently in different regions, and specifically how they are targeting Asia. These sessions are always highly popular and highly rated, and we look forward to the breaking research that will be shared by our expert presenters.