4 Take-Aways from RSA 2014 3 14At this year’s 2014 RSA Security Conference, trust was a recurring theme, matched only with intelligence and Big Data. These three topics helped to balance the conference’s official theme of “Share, Learn, Grow” — and reflected the desire for businesses to get more information from their data and to keep that information secure. From the show floor to charitable giving, this year’s conference offered much of interest.

  • On the show floor, conference attendees got a look into virtual environments featuring ways to protect data between devices. There was an emphasis on detecting the signs of an attack early, and proactively mitigating the newly detected event. New security models were also discussed.
  • Sessions covered a variety of topics — from protecting smart cars as part of the Internet of Things to corporate identifying common challenges of today’s Chief Security Officers (CSOs). Conversations among attendees were focused on two key topics: the transformation of security as threats continue to increase in volume, size and sophistication, and the concern that such “hot” technologies as M2M and Big Data are bypassing the steps needed to protect information in favor of a faster time to market. Thanks to the flexibility and ease of cloud computing we are seeing the growth of information system and network development; however, as fast as we solve a problem, the next challenge seems to spin out of control.
  • New this year were two creative fast pitch concepts. The first hosted 20-minute presentations that had the time constraints of a “TedTalk” (often without the passion typical of such a talk). The second, “Flash Talks” session brought both passion and speed when six security professionals presented their own favorite topics in just over six minutes each
  • A brilliant addition to the conference was a spotlight on the CharityWater.org program, which showed us all how we can participate in helping many have access to something we take for granted: clean water. Over the week donations were collected — or made by participating in information security focused events — that will be used to produce two wells for towns in Africa. I applaud RSA for bringing the show back to reality in such an effective manner.
What security — and human — challenges is your organization working to solve in 2014?