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Exciting Conversations Ahead at RSA 2019

RSA 2019 is just around the corner and I’m excited. There’s a ton of reasons why RSA is still one of the premier security conferences out there. Sure, Black Hat and DefCon are just as big and are focused on security from a practitioner’s point of view. However, RSA is where everyone goes to see the newest and best products from security vendors.

I have spent a lot of time at Cisco Live and VMworld over the years in addition to doing Tech Field Day and I have a unique perspective on both. I can definitely say that the bigger vendor conferences have a great drawing power. It’s much easier to justify to your boss the decision to attend something that is populated by big name security companies.

It’s also important to visit to get a sense of where people are taking the industry. Sure, community-focused conferences are great to see what the people that you work with are doing with technology. But when it comes to the major shifts and the research aspects of things, bigger companies still employ enough people to drive decisions. A perfect example of this from my 2018 RSA experience is the large number of companies that have embraced machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). While the community may not be as hot on these topics it’s very apparent the vendors and manufacturers believe in a future that is dominated by AI and ML.

What’s Hot in 2019?

Now that we’re into 2019, what are some of the things in security that are going to be hot? What do I want to see at RSA that is going to help me understand how things are going to change in the world that we live and work in?

  • Access Management: This one is going to be very important in the coming world of multicloud systems. If we’re going to try and keep our data and access safe from everyone in the entire world trying to get to it, we need robust systems capable of doing things like credential management, API access management, and even credential rotation and auditing. Great companies like CyberArk, BeyondTrust, Okta, and Thycotic are some great examples of companies that are leading the way in this area.
  • AI and ML: It’s time for the rubber to meet the road in the realm of AI. Almost every company that I saw at RSA last year was touting AI. Many of them didn’t even say what they were using it for. However, almost every one of them was looking at it from the perspective of analytics and monitoring, even if it was really running in the background and not the focus of their platform. I want to see if people are still thinking AI is the next big trend or if they’ve moved on to doing other things in the space that are more ML-like. This would be the place to talk to companies like Vectra, Plixer, and WhiteHat Security.
  • Cloud Security: This is a huge opportunity for development in the new frontier of networking, compute, and storage. Honestly, I don’t know what the future of those verticals is going to look like in the next 5 years. No matter what that future is, though, we’re going to call it cloud. The security aspects of cloud are huge. You can have four different companies working on four different areas and still not have 100% overlap in what they’re trying to do. I’m anxious to get the opportunity to talk to companies like Edgewise, Lacework, Tinfoil Security, and Cavirin to learn more about what they’re working on.

Bringing It All Together

RSA 2019 is a great opportunity for practitioners and professionals all over the world to talk to some great companies and learn more about what they’re working on. Remember that those conversations should be about technology and not about the cool swag you find at a booth. If you can engage the people that really understand what’s going on and help you see their vision for the future of security you will both have a better place to start from when deciding how best this solution will work with you and your goals.

For more information about RSA 2019, don’t forget to check out their website at

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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