Three Takeaways from RSA Conference 2015

PAN Communications

Now that we’ve all had a chance to recover from the exhaustion that comes with RSA Conference week – that is unless you jetted straight from San Fran to Vegas for Interop! – here’s a rundown of three big takeaways from the event for security marketing and PR teams:

Reporting cybercrime feels like ‘Groundhog Day’

For all the vendors clamoring to break through to high-level press, some of the security industry’s top media folks gave the RSA Conference audience a glimpse into what it actually takes to get their attention. In this CSO Online article, Writer Taylor Armerding recaps the RSA panel, "Gumshoes Part Deux Security Investigative Journalists Speak Out."

The panelists, who included Kevin Poulsen, Wired; Brian Krebs, KrebsonSecurity; Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times; and Joseph Menn, Reuters, made it clear they and their readers are suffering from breach fatigue.

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Key takeaway: “For those in the cybersecurity industry trying to get coverage from top-tier journalists in the field… here is what not to do: Pitch what everybody else is pitching. That is the best way to get them to ignore you.”

Creativity and originality of thought, research and analysis are more important than ever to catch their eye.

Show, Don’t Tell

 Props to Forbes Contributor Jason Bloomberg for his Meghan Trainer reference. In his Forbes blog post, “Cybersecurity at RSA: All About the Tools, No Trouble?” Bloomberg names some of his favorite exhibitors, while at the same time questioning the effectiveness of a patchwork of the latest and greatest security tools to thwart the bad guys.

Bloomberg asks, “The big question: with all this security gear from the many hundreds of vendors exhibiting at the conference, each trying to get their message heard above the clamor, why do the hackers appear to be winning? Clearly, tools aren’t enough – even when they’re arguably better than ever.”

 Key takeaway: “Vendors need to do a better job showing the actual use cases their products solve,” says Seth Geftic, Senior Manager in the Advanced Security Operations Center (SOC) Solution group at RSA in this CSO Online piece. “Buyers need to pay less attention to marketing buzzwords and think about their individual security priorities before walking around the Expo Hall.”

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A Call to Action: Change

This year’s Conference featured a record 33,000 attendees with 490 sessions totaling 700 speakers. Congratulations to the organizers – and everyone involved – on the success of the event.

Still, ESG’s Jon Oltsik cautions, “Let's remember that the RSA Conference popularity is a function of just how dangerous the threat landscape has become. This reality should sober up the industry after its annual RSA party and subsequent hangover.

In a Fortune interview, RSA President Amit Yoran urges, “Let’s do things differently; let’s think differently; let’s act differently. Because what the security industry has been doing has not worked.”

Yoran issued five recommendations for IT security buyers that marketers in the industry should familiarize themselves with and considering mapping to. You can watch his keynote here.

Next year it’s back to February for RSA. The 2016 dates are February 25 - March 4, taking place as usual at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Between now and then, the PAN IT security team will be working with our IT security clients to showcase the industry innovation and collaboration that’s happening to capitalize on this year’s RSA Conference theme: Change. 

 

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