Undoubtably the signature security event of the year, the RSA USA Conference boasted 650+ exhibitors and an estimated +40,000 footfall of security experts; each sharing knowledge on cutting edge topics, risks and showcasing the latest innovations in cyber detection & defense.

Our CyberStream team were present throughout, engaging with current and future partners, gaining insights into the latest innovations & trends in the cyber community, getting under the covers with product demos and yes, facilitating a whole host of secluded meeting over the road between our candidate and client partners!

The size and scope of this event makes it impossible to list all the companies that are bringing cyber products to the market or put a priority on the importance of all the topics discussed; with that disclaimer made: here is my humble attempt at the impossible and a highlight of my top-pick from RSA USA 2018…

Whichever way you turned, a repeated theme of the conference was the concern of attendees & innovation of sponsors surrounding data privacy. This is no surprise given the climate of the moment, with Facebook’s announcement that “87 million of its users may have been improperly shared”, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent congress appearance & the small, looming GDPR deadline coming into force in May 25th; this was undoubtably the biggest theme for concerned information security professionals I spoke to in the halls.

I had the opportunity to watch an engaging session of thought leaders in data privacy discussing the future of international regulation with two quotes resonating long after the dust of the conference had settled. Rashmi Knowles (Field CTO EMEA, RSA) simplifies many peoples’ thoughts saying “technology is not going to make you compliant” and Richard Watson (EY, Lead Partner Cyber Security Risk Management) highlights the importance of GDPR to all countries in the future “it [GDPR] is becoming the standard that to which everyone is heading towards, whether or not that was the original intention” https://youtu.be/onUTs5tZLO4

The underlying theme I felt: That data privacy was not a topic that organizations were able to take a wait & see approach with but something that needed acting on now. The potential impact (financial, brand based, ethical among others) were too great to ignore and many professionals were almost feverish in their quest to look for direction (or inspiration) but mostly answers to unanswered questions on the impact to their businesses.

The multitude of GDPR & Data Privacy related talks highlights the importance given to this topic at this year’s RSA so the winner of the RSA Innovation Sandbox should have been no surprise… BIGID; one of the emerging Data Privacy Innovators using advanced machine learning, identity intelligence & smart correlation to find, index, map and monitor an organizations personal data storage, wherever it may be hidden. An exciting product that really caused a buzz amongst those attending and for me possibly one of the companies to watch coming out of the RSA conference – one of my personal picks for success in 2018 & beyond. If you get a chance, watch an overview of their product explanation as this is innovation in an area much needed.https://youtu.be/DM936h98cvI

Now to put the importance of BIGID’s win into context, in the last 5 years the annual 10 finalists participating RSA Innovation Sandbox competitors have raised over $2.1Bn in funding & 30% of the participants have since been acquired. BIGID themselves are a 2-year-old company with $14M in Series A funding received in January 2018. Their technical platform brings together what I thought were the two most common (and important) themes of RSA 2018:

  1. Data Privacy
  2. The adoption of AI in Cybersecurity

Unfortunately, there is far too much to write about regarding innovation in AI cyber tech & adaptation to the challenges of the moment, so I will stick with Data Privacy for this post but please watch this space for an additional article on my RSA 2018 AI & Machine learning cyber highlights!

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