Regionally Focused Security Lessons on Tap at RSA Conference APJ

Posted on by Britta Glade

The full agenda for RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2015 will soon be posted, featuring many top-rated speakers from across the globe delivering powerful presentations. What to Expect from RSAC APJ The Program Committee had its hands full this year as it sorted through a record number of submissions, tasked with selecting those that provided the most timely, compelling content for our attendees—content that would really change the way they do their jobs and secure their organizations.

We are extremely pleased with the nine-fold increase of submissions this year featuring research and analysis specific to Asia. This will help us deliver on our promise of delivering a RSA Conference with programming that directly matters to our local attendees.

In December 2014, we analyzed the 2015 US submissions and uncovered a few patterns which we were able to map to overall security trends. We applied the same type of analysis to APJ submissions—utilizing the above word cloud and other data analytics—and found the potential speakers were focused on similar topics as their US counterparts, but through a regional lens.

RSAC APJ Submissions

We have presenters who will provide a detailed analysis of threat actors and techniques used to target Asian organizations—who, incidentally, are targeted more frequently than their Western counterparts. Detailed presentations about specific hacktivist and nation state attacks will also be delivered with in-region examples and data. The ability of our presenters to hone in on the direct and distinct needs of our local audience is exciting for us to see. The details and insights will help our attendees realize tremendous value by attending this regional event.

Similarly, we saw a marked increase in session submissions that discussed specific breaches and threats. Based on the levels of increase, we seem to have crossed the threshold where, to use a phrase that has now become all too trite, organizations no longer wonder if they’ll be breached but rather when…and how often.

Our submissions show the conversation has turned a corner, with a willingness to share real lessons (another word that showed up considerably more often in the 2015 title word cloud vs the 2014 title word cloud) and specific steps organizations have taken in response to the changing threat landscape. We are poised to capitalize on real information sharing and experiences.

One of the most consistent pieces of feedback from the 2015 US Conference, contrasting past events, was that this year sessions focused on “real, tangible, directly applicable things I can do to better perform my job and protect my organization.” There was a real sense of empowerment and, dare I say, excitement across the week that was reflected in feedback as attendees appreciated sessions weren’t just focused on “what’s wrong…and that’s bad”, but rather solutions and experiences. RSA Conference APJ looks to match that same experience for our attendees based on the lessons and perspective reflected in the submissions. 

Rounding out our big trend increases, as observed through submissions, is the Internet of Things. The interconnectedness of everything is clearly on minds as submitters explore the implications of this brave new world. In region our submitters observed the impact of the IoT on cloud and mobile approaches and processes, both strong areas of focus in region—even more so than in the US, as evidenced by their steady hold as a percentage of submissions.

Topically we saw certain distinct declines this year in submission as well, all three of which seem to support a maturation in how organizations approach security.

  • The number of times Bring Your Own Device, or "BYOD," appeared in submission titles declined significantly. This seems to be a product of organizations just accepting external devices coming into enterprise networks and, vice versa, enterprise tools being used on home networks. Organizations seem to have evolved in their concept of what they need to be aware of and protect and no longer look at BYOD distinctly.
  • Likewise, APT as a distinct term seems to have peaked (globally) last year. Recall that “threats” as a general category is up—way up in APJ—but the distinction of different threats as more (or less) advanced than others seems to be on the decline.
  • Lastly, as with a trend we saw in the US, the focus on compliance seems to be down. A compliance dismissive tone seemed prevalent. Perhaps the breaches of 2014 established clearly that compliance does not equal security. It’s an interesting shift from past years.

There you have it—what’s trending up and trending down in APJ, as analyzed through the RSA Conference submissions! We are extremely excited about the content to be shared and its direct applicability to our Asian Pacific-based attendees. Please follow our Quick Looks and early deck postings to assure you’re in the best position to get the most out of this year’s presentations.

Britta Glade

Senior Director, Content & Curation, RSA Conference

cloud security threat intelligence

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