Thousands of footsteps scurry into the biggest convention center in San Francisco in anticipation of discovering what’s new in a world where digital gladiators are on the battlefield fighting off internet trojans. In this scenario, the gladiators are the good guys and the trojans are trolling the internet looking for their next bait: YOU. Don’t worry – sit back and relax – the Tech Titans are keeping your online network safe.
You’ll find hundreds of the most influential thought leaders in the hallways at the Moscone Center this week, where the world talks Cyber Security every year. The biggest players always have the biggest booths, displaying their names in bright shiny letters for all conference goers to see. You can spot them from afar – and their slogans make bold statements about their security solutions. Tucked away in the back are start up companies, hoping to catch the eye of a large enterprise. Some want collaboration, others want to develop partnerships and a few will even admit they desire acquisition from a Fortune 500.
So what exactly are these companies selling and how are they getting an attendees’ attention?
It’s hard not to spot companies like Symantec. The publicly traded company headquartered in Mountain View, California. The company’s stock price skated past $20 at the closing bell Tuesday. They provide a big offering, calling themselves the global leader in cyber security. They offer endpoint security, email security, data loss prevention and SSL certificates – a service large corporations desperately need.
Industry giants like Microsoft, IBM, AT&T and ZScaler always make a big splash, but behind the big wigs are smaller enterprises that are catching up and making a name for themselves in an industry that is generating a lot of noise.
The conduit for many of these companies could potentially be OpenVPN, an open source software that has become the de-facto industry standard for integrating the security solutions large enterprises offer. They have plans to crash the RSA party in 2017 with their new consumer product Private Tunnel, but for now they’ve been watching security software companies closely.
In between all the tech talk, people are enjoying free dirty martinis and stocking stuffers – from pens, to pins, and rubber ducks. Yes, rubber ducks. People flocked to Black Duck‘s booth. “My kids will enjoy this,” said one conference goer.
Clever marketing runs the gamut at RSA.
With psychedelic colors, flower power graphics and peace signs splashed on the front of their informational packets, #MAKECODENOTWAR was the hashtag for Veracode, a company which touts itself as the most powerful application security platform on the planet.
But behind the veil of impressive marketing tactics is a serious topic. Even Homeland Security showed up with a booth and U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton B. Carter, will be leading a session on Collaboration Between Silicon Valley and the DoD on Wednesday.
The hard sell however is always the end user – the consumer. Most of these companies aren’t targeting you just yet, but it’s coming. Besides, what you can’t see won’t hurt you right? The public’s perception may be that all this chatter about cyber security is just hype but if you’re not buying it, someone else sure is. The amount of money being poured into the cyber security space would even impress Dr. Evil. Today, it’s a $50 billion dollar industry, and according to online security experts at RSA it’s expected to boom to $170 billion by 2020. You may want to slow down and enjoy a piece of this pie, or you can just watch on the sidelines. The thousands of attendees at RSA are not idling – they’re not only eating a slice of the pie, they’re baking it and enjoying the whipped cream on top.
Here’s what else is happening at RSA.
Photo by @RSAConference
Nineveh Dinha Madsen is a Swedish-born, ethnic Assyrian American Television Personality. She spent a decade working as a journalist.
She's is the Founder & Editor of HER Magazine ™ (www.hermag.co) and is a marketing and media consultant for several companies, including tech giant OpenVPN.
Her passion for writing led her to a long career in television news. She has covered several stories which made national news including the Harrier Jet crash. The coverage won her an Edward R. Murrow award for Spot News.
She's also been recognized by the Associated Press, Utah Broadcasters Association and was voted one of the State's top reporters by Salt Lake's City Weekly Magazine.
In 2008, she worked on a feature called "Know your Roots" which genetically traced her DNA profile to Mesopotamia in 1400 BC, which was part of ancient Assyria. The two part series created a big buzz among Assyrians. Years later she was awarded and recognized in Los Angeles by the Assyrian Community for her excellence in journalism.
She graduated from California State University East Bay with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2004.