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U.S.: RSA Conference 2018 - Security Industry Is a Work in Progress
Source: www.govtech.com
Source Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: United States
Created: Apr 23, 2018

As visitors to San Francisco approached the Moscone Center to attend the 2018 version of the biggest cybersecurity conference in the world, construction was evident at every turn. But it wasn’t just the buildings outside that were undergoing radical change.

After another record-breaking year for security breaches in 2017, another overhaul is underway within the security industry to try and steady global technology, data and privacy efforts. This year’s RSA Conference reconfirmed the amazing growth in breadth, depth and width of the security industry – along with the importance of protecting the huge investments in innovation which are transforming every area of life.

As described in this RSA Conference 2018 press release:

“More than 42,000 attendees experienced keynote presentations, peer-to-peer sessions, track sessions, tutorials, expo floors and seminars during the course of the week focused on topics such as artificial intelligence, data privacy, gamification, the history of technology and innovation, among others. Records were set with the number of exhibitors in attendance along with overall number of sessions. …  

There were 17 keynote presentations, more than 700 speakers across 550+ sessions and more than 600 companies on the expo floors.”

Several Top Sessions

There were many excellent presentations that are worth watching, and to start my list, I want to highlight the remarks by the Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. 
Secretary Nielsen laid out the steps DHS is taking to address the evolving threats to our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. She also had many quotable one-liners such as:

- Let me be very clear: the threat picture is getting dimmer, not brighter... Digital threats are multiplying faster than we can keep up.
- Last year (2017) was the worst-ever in terms of cyber-attack volume.
- By 2021, cybercrime damage is estimated to hit $6 trillion annually, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.  To put that in perspective, that’s almost 10 percent of the world economy.
- Last year both Russia and North Korea unleashed destructive code that spread across the world, causing untold billions in damage.
- Everyone is cyber vulnerable.  And everyone has a role to play in making cyberspace more secure.
- The bad guys are crowd-sourcing their attacks, so we need to crowd-source our response.

Another important session was the perspective offered from Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market, European Commission. He was interviewed by Riz Khan, International Journalist and Author.

I also thought the keynote session from Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, was also intriguing for several reasons. As CNN reported in this article: Microsoft, Facebook and 32 other tech firms join CyberSecurity Tech Accord

“On Tuesday, Microsoft, Facebook and 32 other companies signed on to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a pact to work together on cybersecurity issues. In addition to stymieing governmental cyberattacks, the companies also agreed to collaborate on stronger defense systems and protect against tampering of their products.

"We called on the world to borrow a page from history in the form of a Digital Geneva Convention, a long-term goal of updating international law to protect people in times of peace from malicious cyberattacks," Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

The financial impact of cybersecurity attacks on businesses and organizations is expected to reach $8 trillion by 2022.”

(BY DAN LOHRMANN)
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