RSA 2020: 7 trends and takeaways

Attendance down, costs up, and lots of tech talk

A glowing light bulb stands out from a crowd of unlit bulbs. [ideas / innovation / transformation]
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RSA 2020 had an uninvited guest, Covid-19.  Fist bumps replaced handshakes and hand sanitizing stations were spread throughout the Moscone Center.  Attendance seemed to be down due to factors like the virus panic and the withdrawal of major players like AT&T, IBM, and Verizon. 

While lots of people pulled back, the ESG team was in full attendance.  Here are a few of our observations and thoughts on RSA 2020:

  1. Endpoint security looks for its next act. My colleague Dave Gruber summed up the current state of endpoint security in one word, “Meh.”  In the past, endpoint security players were adding advanced analytics or unifying layers of endpoint protection with EDR.  This year they tended to talk about support for cloud workloads and mobile devices.  Yes, these workloads and devices need protection, but this all seemed like “dot release” stuff to Dave. 
  2. On to platforms. The ho-hum feeling about endpoint security may be because it is destined to be a cog in a greater cybersecurity defensive machine.  Call them platforms, XDR, or something else, they bring endpoint, network, and cloud security together under one roof.  This should make for better data correlation, more robust and accurate alerts, and streamlined operations.  Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and Trend Micro made announcements along these lines. While end-to-end cybersecurity technology platforms will proliferate over time, cybersecurity professionals grew up with a tradition and culture anchored to point tools.  Successful vendors will hold customers' hands through this transition, making sure to help them blend platforms into established SOCs.
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