RSA 2021: what to expect at this year’s digital event

This year, RSA will offer more than 200 educational sessions on 24 information tracks and include 19 keynote addresses. Resilience is a concept that will be discussed in many sessions, as speakers describe how they and others endured the massive security challenges of suddenly remote working as their organizations weathered simultaneous business disruption. “We see this topic woven throughout,” said Thompson.

Planned sessions include “The Coming AI Hackers,” in which Bruce Schneier of Harvard Kennedy School will describe a world where “the tax code, the financial markets and any system of law” can be hacked by AI-powered bots, disrupting political systems. This week’s ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, disrupting gasoline delivery for days and causing panic buying in parts of the country, is one example of the kind of social disruption cyber attacks can cause.

Additionally, Microsoft’s CISO Bret Arsenault will discuss his company’s deployment of zero-trust security for its own employees and the lessons he has learned since the start of the pandemic. Mark Weatherford, National Cybersecurity Center, will host a panel discussion on how businesses should prioritize security under increasingly dire circumstances. Anne Mortimer, Managing Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth Law Firm, will draw on her experience to describe “Failed Violation Responses”.

Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco; Steve Grobman, CTO at Mcafee; Angela Weinman, Vmware responsible for global governance, risk and compliance; Vasu Jakkal, Vice President of Security, Compliance and Identity for Microsoft; Mauricio Guerra, RSSI Dow Chemical; and Marene Allison, CISO of Johnson & Johnson.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Find out what should be your top three cybersecurity priorities for remote working.

SolarWinds CEO to speak at RSA 2021

One of the most interesting sessions will feature Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO of SolarWinds, who will discuss the major supply chain attack that hit the company last year. “For the first time, SolarWinds is sharing its unique vision of the ‘what, how and who’ of attack, including key lessons about the new craft that can help the industry better prevent and protect in the future,” RSA notes on its website.

A key trend in cybersecurity in recent years is the manipulation of information, which can include anything from “fake news” designed to influence an election to sophisticated phishing attacks. Regarding the latter, Thompson noted that threat actors have dramatically improved their tactics and the technology they use to target employees since the days of the Nigerian princes’ questionable emails.

“Think about what was once a standard messaging compromise,” Thompson said. “You would get a fundraising email and it would have a great story on why you should transfer some money somewhere immediately. Today some of these attacks involve deepfakes and you might get a call, apparently, from the CEO, when you don’t. “

Bookmark this page for articles and videos from the event, and follow us on Twitter @BizTechMagazine and the official conference Twitter feed, @RSAConference.

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