RSA Conference review: vendors continue to miss the mark

Jonathan Penn

For those who are used to seeing me post here, I have been writing more frequently to security vendor strategists rather than security & risk practitioners. I just posted on Forrester's Vendor Strategy blog about my impressions from RSA. You can read the unabridged version there, but here's the CliffsNotes:

  1. End user attendance was way down, as was end user enthusiasm. Low buzz on the floor.
  2. If you can spare the money and time, it's still a great place to go to see lots of vendors and talk with them in detail. For first level compare-and-contrast work in evaluating security products, the RSA Conference remains unparalleled.
  3. Vendors never seem to get it. Two questions for you. First, "What's more important: security delivered in a cloud/SaaS model, or securing all your IT applications, systems, and interactions that are taking place in the cloud?" Seems simple, right? Not to vendors. The second question I know the answer to (thanks to our big data surveys we do) "What's more important, reducing cost or reducing complexity?" The complexity of security practice (of which cost is a manifestation but is by no means the sole issue facing security teams) looms like a dark cloud. It keeps you from focusing on strategic work, keeps products from working together, and it hinders greater IT and business initiatives.

If you went to RSA, I would love to hear your
thoughts about the conference; I
had no time to attend any of the sessions. I was hoping to sit in on a few
(those that seemed decidedly not vendor pitches), but missed them

Anything stand out? Will you go next year?


re: RSA Conference review: vendors continue to miss the mark

I am the VP of Marketing for iovation, we were at RSA last week and I echo your comments relative to the buzz and user volume on the show floor, but with the caveat that the people in attendance were generally higher quality and more purposeful in looking to solutions to address their security problems. Much less chotchky hunters and more security practitioners. We have found this to be the case at most of the shows that we have attended this year.As far as the message we deliver to our customers, we focus on value first. Simple and effective solutions to combat online fraud and provide a meaningful return on our customers investment, first by reducing dollar fraud losses and secondly by reducing manual fraud reviews and streamlining the fraud management process.