RSA week is always a busy time of attending presentations and training sessions, exploring the [newly expanded] Expo Hall (700+ vendors), checking out what’s new in the Early Stage Expo (aka the Sandbox), catching up with old friends/colleagues/customers, and being enticed to attend way too many parties/receptions every evening.


It's interesting to view the massive gathering from different perspectives, as the 40,000 attendees all surely have different objectives and goals that can be categorized into approximately two similar silos. The work that occurs within the conference center that's full of vendors, demonstrations, keynote speakers and various break-out sessions. And the work that occurs around the conference center -  the ever-important networking events, partnership discussions, and client meetings that all take place in one big flurry of constant activity.

It's quite the vibe to be a part of!


Keynote Address

Better Together

From the surprise opening keynote speaker, Dame Helen Mirren, we were reminded that we are all better together. In a simple exercise she encouraged everyone to share their favorite picture from their phones with someone sitting next to them. We are all human.

On days when we are constantly fighting cyberattacks against our countries and companies; it's important to remember to do our best. When things don't go how we want, it's sometimes enough to embrace your neighbors and remember that we cannot protect our world without eachother.

"We can build a better future together." - Dame Helen Mirren


Risk vs. Trust

Next, Niloofar Razi and Rohit Ghai took us on a journey to the year 2049 and named it, "The Biodigital Era". The theme here was our ever-changing landscape of security and how to navigate the constant battle between risk and trust.

They encouraged everyone to contemplate three objectives:

1. Risk and trust must coexist, and in order for that to happen you must understand, properly manage, and prioritize the different variables included in this symbiotic relationship.

2. The human/machine relationship is another topic we must embrace. Our adversaries are focusing on how to use this relationship to our disadvantage, so we in turn must be steadfast with our focus on developing this inevitable relationship for the improvement of our world.

3. How your organization is measured in the world of security, is based on your reputation and subsequent management of such. By making 'deposits' into this bank of trustworthiness and as few 'withdrawls' as possible; cyberattacks and the impending damage that can be felt from their efforts are a part of this management process. How we recover from the attacks and embrace the opportunity for improvement is how we will ensure our most optimal reputation management going forward.

Then came the main themes for this year, which predominantly focused on artificial intelligence (AI), more emphasis on the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly in the enterprise, and also on various aspects of endpoint security.

There was also a significant amount of discussion/sightings around the skilled labor shortage in cybersecurity as well as innovative ways of providing user and customer security awareness training.

Troy Leach and Emma Sutcliffe of the PCI Security Standards Council gave a presentation on mapping the NIST CyberSecurity Framework to the PCI Data Security Standard and formally announced that PCI DSS v4.0 is in the works with an expected release date of late 2020.


There are always new companies exhibiting at RSA, but there are also the diehard, big name companies that have the largest, splashiest, “shiny object” type booths.

Pac-Man-RSA This year however, there was a company noticeably missing – namely Qualys. For as many years as can be remembered, the first giveaway upon entering the Expo halls was a big “Qualys” tote bag – suitable for collecting all of the swag that is passed out by vendors in exchange for listening to a pitch or having your badge “tapped” (to gather contact information). In what might be an emerging trend, Qualys opted out of the whole expo this year – no booth, no bags. They were still in town, but they held their own mini-conference/gathering offsite and encouraged attendees to stop by and visit them there.

What did Online do There?

The RSP practice at Online has been doing this for years. Rather than drop precious marketing dollars on a booth, Online holds an “open house” of sorts at a nearby restaurant called the Thirsty Bear. This year was our seventh consecutive year at this fabulous establishment where we had one of our most successful gatherings of security professionals and Clients to-date. We partnered with Cyber adapt for this year's event.

ThirstyBear Online-CyberadAPT

There, fellow Onliners from various parts of the world got to see each other as well as entertain our valuable customers, prospects, colleagues, and extended “friends and family”. The Online “booth” is less than a block from the Moscone Center (which hosts the conference) but is so much calmer and quieter than having to navigate the expo hall. You'll have to join us next year, so stay tuned for our upcoming invites.


Closing Remarks:

We still can't help but reflect on the teeming positivity that comes from a conference dedicated to an industry that wouldn't exist without criminals.

A gathering of thousands of people, working towards similar goals of protecting our countries and our companies from these malicious attacks, and the pride one can take from being a part of this massive movement. We here at Online recognize the critical need to stay as up-to-date as possible with these emerging trends and threats so we are best prepared to protect our Clients, friends and families from the illegal activities that occur on a daily basis in our cyber world.

No need to worry if you were unable to make it to RSA this year, or were there but couldn’t manage to see everything: RSA is offering links for session presentations, a library of videos including keynotes, and RSAC onDemand sessions, and reading blogs from Conference week.

Enjoy some more of our pics from the week!

Jeff-Man-RSA-1 Jamie-Sheryl-Thirst-Bear
Jeff Man's very full lanyard; Jamie Michie, Content Specialist & Sheryl Clusiault, Senior Manager of Marketing from Online Business Systems.

Scene from the Moscone Center, RSAC

An Online Business Systems' Security Expert Jeff Man with RSA Keynote Bruce Schneier



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