How to Plan Ahead for RSA Conference 2024 in San Francisco

RSA is an increasingly important conference in the security world. And given that IOD serves so many companies in the cybersecurity space, including Microsoft, Check Point, Wiz, and many more, conferences keep us on top of our game. 

With the explosion of ChatGPT early in 2023, last year’s RSAC focused largely on AI, including a keynote on “Defending at Machine Speed” from Microsoft VP Vasu Jakkal. Vendors large and small unveiled new AI-powered extensions to existing products, like Security CoPilot from Microsoft, an AI-integrated extension from Cisco, and language-based email threat detection from Armorblox (not long after, Cisco actually acquired Armorblox, elevating founder and CEO Dhananjay Sampath to VP of AI for Cisco).

Tracking developments like these is essential to help us keep up what’s going on in the field today along with future trends that will impact the content we create for our clients.

So, hot off KubeCon 2024 EU in Paris, we’re packing our bags and heading to RSA Conference 2024 in San Francisco. 

This will be my first time at RSAC, and everyone tells me it can be intense. Last year’s conference brought together about 40,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors. 

To help you get the most out of your experience there, I’m thrilled to share some wisdom I’ve gathered from pros who have been there.

Getting the Most Out of RSAC 2024

Originally founded by RSA Security, the RSA Conference was sold to a private equity firm in 2022, allowing it to grow and become a more vendor-neutral space for security professionals from across the globe.

Whatever your interests, you’ll find a wealth of learning opportunities at RSAC 2024—too many, really.

So choose where you want to focus. Infrastructure protection? Data or API security? Zero trust? AI’s role in defense? DevSecOps? The evolving threat landscape? My head is spinning already.

Everyone says you shouldn’t even try to do it all. Choose a few top-priority sessions each day, with backups in case you can’t get into your top picks.

And whatever you do, don’t forget the Innovation Sandbox, RSAC’s very own shark tank, to discover future game-changers in security.

Past years’ finalists have included HiddenLayer, an up-and-coming vendor aiming to secure ML and AI models (Watch the winning pitch from founder Chris “Tito” Sestito.); Talon Cyber Security, a vendor of secure enterprise browser technology (Check out founder Ofer Ben Noon’s winning pitch); and Apiiro, an application security posture management platform (Watch the winning pitch, from founder Idan Plotnik).

This year’s Innovation Sandbox is a can’t miss where you’ll get a peek at some of today’s rising stars, and who knows? It may even spark some creative ideas you can bring back to your own organization!

Finally, set aside time for meetings. Reach out to prospects, clients, and other contacts ahead of time to coordinate schedules. But since everyone’s timetable can shift on a dime, stay flexible and be open to rebooking if necessary.

Hitting the Expo Floor

Remember that RSAC is a product-focused conference with a lot of big-name vendors with products to showcase: firewalls, intrusion detection systems, endpoint protection platforms, and more.

What you probably won’t find is a lot of consulting services or overall strategic guidance.

Because the expo hall is so vast, focus on specific problems. 

What are a few areas that you’d really like to find solutions for?

Map out your picks ahead of time at the RSAC Marketplace to make getting there simpler.

When you’re visiting booths, bypass the sales pitch by asking to talk to devs and engineers who can give you real insights. You don’t have to spend long—get a basic understanding of the products that interest you and then do more thorough research once you get home.

This year’s gold and diamond sponsors include:

  • Armis
  • Broadcom
  • Cisco
  • Code42
  • Elastic
  • ExtraHop
  • Fortra
  • Google Cloud Security
  • Illumio
  • LogRhythm Inc.
  • ManageEngine
  • Rubrik
  • TeleTrusT (IT Security Association Germany)
  • Tenable
  • Trellix
  • Verizon Business
  • Zscaler

To keep your energy from flagging, many vendors offer snacks and drinks in the afternoons. Some of the bigger vendors like Symantec and Dell even rent out nearby restaurants, if you’re looking to get away and enjoy free munchies. 

Some visitors last year, like Rik Ferguson of TechBeacon, mentioned that they didn’t see much innovation from the bigger vendors at RSAC 2023. Ferguson reports that “there seemed to be more of a focus on iterative improvements and integration.”

If you’re looking for something more groundbreaking, make your way to the Early Stage Expo in Moscone South. There, you’ll find kiosks for 50 smaller startups showcasing cool new ideas that haven’t yet made it to prime time, like SafeLiShare, with active encryption for cloud and MLOps, Calamu, with resilient, secure data storage, and VulnCheck, which offers predictive vulnerability intelligence.

In the same area, you’ll find the RSAC Next Stage, which also gives you a peek into ten additional fast-growing new startups.

Other things people have enjoyed at RSAC?

Evening parties, the CyBEER Ops networking reception, and Learning Lab events like interactive workshops, real-life simulations, and Capture the Flag that help you build skills while having fun.

Keep an eye out for celebs—RSAC 2023 included singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, Back to the Future actor Christopher Lloyd, and Monty Python’s Eric Idle—along with leading names from the world of security.


Will We Be Seeing You in San Francisco?

Planning ahead for RSAC helps me connect back to the main reasons IOD loves tech-industry conferences: gathering insights to stay ahead of the curve and fuel our expert-based tech content production while building connections with leading solution vendors.

We love taking selfies at every conference we stop by with some of our favorite clients, new and old.

Whatever your content needs, from tutorial videos to case studies, white papers, blogs and beyond, let’s connect at RSAC to discover how IOD can drive results like:

  • Increased organic traffic
  • Content cadence at enterprise scale
  • Top Google rankings for essential security terms
  • Significantly faster content production times
  • Industry-leading content that pays for itself

Read our Wiz case study to find out how we accomplished all this and more.

See you soon in the city by the Bay!

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