RSA 2015: 10 Things To Look Forward To In San Francisco

RSA Is Almost Here

Less than a week away from one of the largest security shows of the year, it's hard not to get excited. From the latest and greatest startups to celebrity appearances and discussions on the biggest security issues of the day, RSA Conference 2015 is sure to be an exciting and informative event. As we get ready to pack our bags and head to San Francisco next week, take a look at 10 things we're looking forward to at the event.

Alec Baldwin

Television and film star Alec Baldwin will be taking the stage for the Friday closing keynote of the event in a 1-on-1 interview with RSA Conference Program Committee Chairman Hugh Thompson. The two are expected to discuss the growing conflict between celebrities and privacy issues.

Questions On Internet Of Things

Multiple panels and sessions at the RSA Conference next week will tackle burning industry questions around securing the Internet of Things. Sessions throughout the week will address areas of attack as well as encourage debates on if the Internet of Things is the future of technology or just hype.

National Security

Officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense are joining the RSA Conference next week to talk about national-security challenges and public-sector plans for increasing information security. While the issues will be addressed at both sessions and panels throughout the event, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson will kick off the conversation at a Tuesday morning keynote addressing the growing number of serious attacks on essential networks and how the department plans to tackle that threat to national security.

Innovation Sandbox

On Monday, security startups will vie for the annual title of most innovative company at the event, following in the footsteps of former winners Sourcefire, Imperva and RedOwl Analytics. This year's finalists include Bugcrowd, Cybereason, Fortscale, NexDefense, SecurityDo, SentinelOne, Ticto, TrustInSoft, Vectra Networks and Waratek. The winners will be judged by Asheem Chandna, partner at Greylock Partners; Gerhard Eschelbeck, vice president of security engineering at Google; Renee Guttman, vice president for information risk at Accuvant; Patrick Heim, head of trust and security at DropBox; and Paul Kocher, president of Cryptography Research.

Training Next-Generation Talent

Multiple sessions at the event will address the industry challenge of finding enough quality talent to fill open security positions, including a Tuesday session on "Closing the Gap: Steps to Satisfy the Demand for Security Talent" and a Thursday session on "Cultivating a New Generation of Cyber-Workforce Talent." The sessions will tackle the growing challenge around finding, training and then continuing to grow a strong cybersecurity-focused workforce.

Enhancing Cloud Security

Keynotes, panels and sessions at RSA will attempt to answer security questions raised around the cloud, including how to work best with cloud service providers, data security and compliance challenges. In particular, on Tuesday, Microsoft Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney will hold a keynote on how to balance the trust issues created among clients, solution providers and vendors with aggressive innovation.

Preventing POS Attacks

After another year of mega breaches at major retailers, it's no wonder that you can look forward to a series of sessions and panels on the ins and outs of preventing POS attacks. In particular, sessions such as "POSitively Under Fire: What Are Retailers Facing?" on Thursday and "That Point of Sale Is a PoS" on Wednesday will address common sources of POS breaches, ways to mitigate risk and if the switch to EMV will solve the problem.

Compliance Issues

As 2015 brings with it more stringent compliance regulations from the government, RSA is a good place to get up to date with what you need to know. Sessions throughout the week will highlight compliance know-how with discussions on how to balance compliance regulations with operational efficiencies. Beyond the basics, other sessions, such as "Managing the Unmanageable: A Risk Model for the Internet of Things" on Thursday, will dive into how new technology markets such as the Internet of Things will affect compliance challenges down the road.

Cryptography Panel

This year's annual cryptography panel will feature Adi Shamir, professor, computer science department, Weizmann Institute of Science; Ed Giorgio, cryptographer and security expert, KEYW; Ronald Rivest, Vannevar Bush professor, MIT; and Whitfield Diffie, cryptographer and security expert, Cryptomathic. As in years past, the keynote panel Tuesday will cover the latest advancements and trends in cryptography. If that's not enough of a cryptography fix, RSA will also be holding two sessions Wednesday about cryptography and truly secure solutions in the post-Snowden era.

Threats To Look Forward To

You can't leave the RSA event without a few pieces of information on the evolving threat landscape to come. While you can't predict every threat to come, sessions and panels at RSA will attempt to answer questions on what 2015 will bring for the security workforce, corporate breaches, compliance, and general threats and vulnerabilities.