5 standout products from RSA 2020

2020 will be remembered as the year the human element finally came to security.

A business man touches a futuristic lock + circuit board security interface.

The world’s largest security show, RSA, was held last week in San Francisco.  Over the week, tens of thousands of people flocked to the Moscone Center to check out the almost 800 vendors and hundreds of speakers to educate themselves on the latest and greatest in cybersecurity.

The theme of the show was “The Human Element” and that tag line could be seen on signage all over the Market Street area.  I thought it was a fitting message as most of what I saw from the vendor community was about making security technology easier to deploy and use.   

Five such examples are:

Cisco SecureX

Last year I wrote a blog post proclaiming endpoint detection and response (EDR) to be dead and replaced with XDR. My basic premise was that security technologies, such as EDR, can’t exist in isolation as they only see a small piece of the overall puzzle.  Fellow CSO blogger John Oltsik has a similar view of the world, although he calls it SOAPA. Whatever the name, the point product approach is overly complicated, has many blind spots, and leaves organizations open to breaches. Cisco’s SecureX addresses the human element by taking a platform approach to simplify operations. In my blog post, I called out endpoint, cloud, and network as the three pillars of XDR.  Cisco takes that a step further by adding in Talos threat intelligence and then uses machine learning to provide visibility and automate workflows across Cisco and third-party security tools. Security professionals understand that complexity is the enemy of security, and SecureX is intended to simplify operations.

Fortinet FortiAI

Similar to Cisco, Fortinet has taken a platform approach to security. At RSA, the company announced its FortiAI security appliance that can find and identify threats in real time. Fortinet’s differentiator is its Security Processing Unit (SPU), which is its own silicon, that brings feature consistency with better price / performance than off the shelf processors. FortiAI can be used as a standalone device to find threats but when used in conjunction with Fortinet technology such as FortiSandbox, FortiEDR and FortiSIEM, it can automate the response and perform security sweeps and can save engineers hours of time of manually intensive work.

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