What We Took Away from RSAC 2020
Authored by: Carolyn Crandall, Chief Deception Officer and CMO – RSAC 2020 has come and gone, and cybersecurity experts from all across the globe have departed San Francisco armed with new knowledge, connections, and new ways of thinking about solutions to the cybersecurity problems facing all enterprises. Attivo Networks came ready to showcase new capabilities of the ThreatDefend® platform and educate customers and prospects on detection technology and—more specifically—the stages in which it can help them fortify their defenses: early detection, analysis and forensics, automated response and post-compromise threat detection. On a fun note, our “wolf in sheep’s clothing” plushes were in high demand and got quite a bit of attention on the show floor and social media. Overall, there were no shortage of great speaking engagements, breakout sessions, and keynotes to attend, so let’s talk about some of the conference’s key takeaways.
First, I’d like to address the elephant in the room: fears over the continued spread of coronavirus led to a slightly smaller-than-usual conference this year. Major players in our industry, including IBM, AT&T, and Verizon understandably declined to attend this year’s conference. Although most exhibitors ultimately elected to attend, the reason for the smaller crowds was on everyone’s mind. Fortunately, RSA did a great job of keeping RSAC 2020 safe, with plenty of disinfectant to go around. In addition to now knowing what it feels like to be bathed in Purell, we also now are well versed in the various ways to say hello; fist pump, elbow bump, foot shake and the queen wave to mention a few.
Themes and Takeaways
The theme of RSAC 2020 was “The Human Element,” and that motif permeated the show floor. There was a palpable appreciation for the individuals who make up the security industry, and a recognition that the future of the industry relies on human beings continuing to innovate and work together for a more secure future. The keynotes, too, focused heavily on the role that humans play in cybersecurity, effectively driving the point home.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating keynotes came from Wendy Nather, Cisco’s head of advisory CISOs, who delivered a thought-provoking address on the democratization of security. In her speech, Nather discussed the advantages of security teams sharing control with their users, rather than fighting them for it. She advocates for a more open culture around security, and for more collaboration with users, working with them to avoid security pitfalls rather than simply telling them what not to click on. It was a compelling argument, and one that generated considerable conversation on the show floor.
I mentioned Peggy Whitson’s keynote in our pre-RSA blog, but I wanted to highlight it again here. Whitson is a former astronaut—the first woman to command the International Space Station, in fact. And although she may not be a cybersecurity expert in the conventional sense, she had great things to say about the value that innovative new technologies add to our everyday lives. She also discussed importance of tackling impossible-seeming challenges head on—and after all, who would know better than an astronaut?
Attivo Receives Industry Accolades
This was a great year for Attivo, and we were gratified to receive a number of awards and accolades from those within the cybersecurity industry. Just before RSAC began, we learned that Attivo had been honored with six 2020 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards across several new cybersecurity product/service categories. Attivo was awarded five gold awards and one silver award in the categories of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Protection, Critical Information Security, Endpoint Detection and Response, Deception Technology, Serverless Security, and Insider Threat Solution.
We were also pleased to receive five InfoSec awards from Cyber Defense Magazine at RSAC itself. The ThreatDefendTM platform was recognized as “Best Product in Cloud Security,” “Cutting Edge Endpoint Security,” “Most Innovative Deception-Based Security,” and “Next Gen Insider Threat Detection,” and Attivo was also named a “Hot Company in Critical Infrastructure Protection.” Attivo Networks also won an SC Trust Award for the Best Deception Technology, given in honor of the ThreatDefendTM platform’s comprehensive security capabilities.
That wasn’t all. Attivo Networks also won the 2020 Cybersecurity Marketers of the Year Award from the Cybersecurity Go To Market Dojo and was named the Grand Trophy Winner in Info Security PG’s 2020 Global Excellence Awards. We were also thrilled to once again be included in CRN’s 2020 Security 100 List, which highlights 100 channel-centric security vendors making an impact in a variety of different categories.
While our primary objective is to arm defenders with the tools necessary to quickly and accurately detect and defend against attackers—not accumulate awards—it is always gratifying to receive recognition from others within the industry fighting for the same goal. We are always improving the ThreatDefend Platform and innovating new products that work to better close detection gaps, and we appreciate industry recognition of our commitment to solving complex security challenges!
RSAC Highlights a Changing Industry
The awards that Attivo Networks received at RSAC 2020 highlight the growing recognition of the value deception technology brings, and we were also happy to see a large number of sessions and speakers discussing deception and deception-adjacent technologies. In addition to the speaking engagements and panel discussions that Attivo leaders like CTO Tony Cole and Chief Security Strategist Chris Roberts took part in, there were more informational sessions and training opportunities for attendees looking to familiarize themselves with this increasingly in-demand technology.
Deception technology wasn’t the only thing shaking up the conference, though. There were calls for industry-wide change from voices ranging from Ann Johnson, corporate VP of Microsoft’s cybersecurity solutions group, to Star Treklegend George Takei. Not only did the conference’s speakers call for cybersecurity experts to respond to the changing face of cybercrime, but they embraced the “Human Element” theme of the conference by emphasizing the need to engage all employees across all departments in the fight.
The privacy implications of new technologies were also a common theme, especially as technology like facial recognition becomes more widely adopted word-wide. Recent breaches have raised further concerns over whether this technology can be adequately protected, and it’s a conversation that is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Must like last year’s conference, which saw considerable discussion over new and emerging attack surfaces, this year’s conference is tackling issues that are just beginning to raise their head.
Attivo RSA Announcement Highlights
Attivo also made several announcements related to new innovations and reducing security risk. The links below provide summaries of the announcements (Endpoint security, Active Directory Protection, and Microsoft Azure IoT Edge) and state of the cyber deception market.
- Recording – Endpoint Detection Net – Carolyn Crandall and Tony Cole discuss newest product announcements.
- Recording – Attivo Networks Deception – Based Threat Deception Carolyn Crandall and Tony Cole discuss Deception technology momentum and value.
- Recording – Tony Cole and Chris Roberts discuss Deception at RSA
Moving Cybersecurity Forward
RSAC is something I look forward to every year. It’s one of the best opportunities to network with other cybersecurity professionals and discuss not only the issues of today, but the issues of tomorrow. The “Human Element” theme was a prescient one, driven home with each new elbow bump and engaging conversation. Interacting with the people, the real human beings, that make up our industry is always a pleasure, and it’s a wonderful reminder that these are the individuals who will continue to drive us toward a safer and more secure future.
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