News & Events

RSA Conference 2013 – Enjoying the Robust Market

By Jon Yim

Last week, RSA held its annual conference in San Francisco, CA.  For those of you who read our blog covering the RSA conference last year, we hit the bull’s-eye on 2013’s theme: “Security in Knowledge” (Click here to read our RSA blog from last year).  Despite the current economic backdrop and the onset of sequestration, RSA managed to draw a wide array of security experts, hackers, and corporations, as well as throw a number of after-parties, with the goal of energizing our security force.  Much of the format was similar to last year with its tracks, break-out sessions, and keynote speakers.  Some of the most noteworthy items from this year’s event included:

  • Increase in number of exhibitors.  Despite the number of consolidations, with nearly 100 IT security transactions in 2012, there were more companies exhibiting this year than last year.  In fact, the expo floor needed to be expanded with additional floor spaces within the convention center.  Comparing last year’s exhibitor list to this year’s list, there was an approximate 20% increase, with over 350 companies exhibiting this year.
  • Higher exposure of foreign companies.  From walking around the expo floor and meeting people at various events, we noted a larger presence of foreign companies, both as exhibitors and attendees.  Comparing last year’s brochure to this year’s exhibitor list, we noted there are approximately 30% more foreign companies exhibiting. Their presence validates the claim that the security threat is global, and companies both domestically and abroad are trying to entrench themselves within the growing security market.
  • Diluted marketing message with overused buzz words.  Despite our knowledge in the space, it was very hard to separate one company from another given the overuse of many of the prevailing industry “buzz words.”  Many company posters and messages threw around flashy terms such as “Big Data”, “Cloud”, and “Situational Awareness.”  We understand the RSA conference is an opportunity to market a company’s salient attributes, but the overuse of these terms may be diluting their message rather than supporting it.

As the threats continue to evolve, more innovation will arise in the security field.  However, despite the technological revolution over the years, the common stories across different vendors were about failures to protect our digital properties.  Is it just me or does anyone else scratch their head wondering the same question – “what do we have to show for all of the investment in security technologies from years past?”  With that said, we all acknowledge the need for additional investments and innovations in an attempt to stay in front of the future threat, and we also wait to see what the next stack will be in security.