The RSA Conference Teaches Resilience

by in Security

It’s time again for the RSA Security Conference in the USA. This year it is taking place May 17-20. Notice I didn’t say “The RSA Conference in San Francisco, California.” This one is virtual, so can be attended by anyone in any time zone. Just like last year. Wait, no, that’s not right. Is it? Let me think…

 This will be the 30th RSA Conference, the first happened in 1991. This will be my seventh, however last year’s stands out the most for me.

Let me refresh your memory. The RSA Conference in 2020 was held at the end of February. The world was just finding out about the coronavirus and COVID-19. A nasty virus that was putting people in the ICU on respirators. I remember scouring the internet for any and all updates on it. I was getting ready to walk into an event that typically sees some 42,000 attendees in an enclosed, albeit large, space, for three and a half days. With lots of hand shaking and close talking.

I recall several companies pulled out of the Conference at the last minute, citing the risks of the virus. Another, similar conference, Mobile World Congress, taking place roughly the same time, decided to cancel, citing the risk of the virus. Our company debated about going or not to RSA and we decided to follow the prevailing guidelines from the CDC, which was still okay with large mass gatherings at that time as long as some precautions were taken.

So we went. I ran the company’s social campaign. Prevailing guidelines suggested not to shake hands but most everyone did anyway. I don’t recall seeing a single person in a mask. I was on the show floor all three and a half days having fun meeting people and coaxing them to squeeze together for photographs that would appear on our social feed. Although it was reported that “only” 36,000 attended, or about 15% less attends than normal, it felt like a lot of bodies pressed together.

What was different that year was hand sanitizer stations were everywhere. I even reported one of the stations was out of sanitizer on social media and someone sent me a direct message to ask where so they could quickly refill it. I remember a lonely staff member holding a cleaning rag to the railing of the long, two story escalator as it turned endlessly throughout the day.

Somewhere half way through the Conference, the city of San Francisco declared a state of local emergency, which as we understood it, was like shutting down the city. We still arrived at the Moscone Center, not really realizing what we were up against. We just knew we had to be resilient.  

Fast forward over a year later, and you know how the rest of the story played out globally. To say the world had to become resilient is a gross understatement.

Cyber Resiliency in the age of COVID

Just as COVID-19 caused people and much of society to change the way they behaved and functioned, businesses had to react and become resilient in many ways, too. Remote working became the norm almost overnight (Here at Micro Focus, a quickly escalating contest of who could have the best zoom background was won when one colleague placed himself inside the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewy). And with it came the challenge of protecting an environment of BYOD devices and software that was no longer contained by a well-defined perimeter.

Cyber resilience is the ability of an organization to enable business acceleration (enterprise resiliency) by preparing for, responding to, and recovering from cyber threats. Businesses need intelligent solutions to create cyber resilience through detecting threats, securing data and applications, and protecting identities—enabling orgs to adapt and evolve for the future. 

Gaps in your security posture can make your org vulnerable. Businesses need to protect against cyberthreats with identity governance and advanced authentication, vulnerability detection in their applications, and persistent data protection

Visiting Us at RSA 2021 

That’s why we are proud again to be back at RSA Security Conference in 2021, even though it is a virtual event this year. We want to show the InfoSec world our new and evolving security solutions and how we have been innovating the past year. We even have a new name, CyberRes, a Micro Focus line of Business. You can find our CyberRes virtual booth at RSA in the Digital Expo, and we hope you will drop by (virtually). We want to connect with our friends, partners and customers and talk about how to strengthen their Cyber Resilience. 

Interested in checking out what RSA 2021 has to offer? No problem. As a valued friend, we have a complimentary Digital Expo Pass we would like to offer for you to use. Use the Micro Focus Passcode 54MRCOFSE at registration. 

And we mean it, we want to connect with you, see how you have fared the last year, and find out your unique cybersecurity challenges. Now you have the opportunity to request your own personal a meeting in the CyberRes Virtual Meeting Center at RSA. This is your opportunity to meet with our CyberRes executives or product experts during the Conference. We hope you take advantage of it. We want to help you protect across your identities, apps, and data, detect and respond to threats faster, and evolve your security posture by making smart decisions with intelligent, analytics-driven solutions. 

So, we learned pandemics are not the only things from which businesses need to build in resiliency. While COVID-19 was, we hope, a once-in-a-lifetime event, any type of unforeseen circumstances, including forces of nature, abrupt shifts in the economy, terrorism (physical or cyber), and more, all need to be part of comprehensive disaster recovery planning for building enterprise resilience. Visit us at RSA this May to see how we can help keep your resilient. 

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  • Yes, this year is certainly  a LOT different than last year. And we were very fortunate to stay healthy after the 2020 conference given the ginormous number of attendees. Although it's been a very long and challenging year, it amazes me how quickly we have all adapted to new ways of working, and we have helped so many Micro Focus customers (and ourselves) scale their technology solutions to meet the huge surge in demand resulting from COVID. This year's event won't be the same, but it will definitely be informative and worthwhile. I'm looking forward to connecting with people virtually and seeing all the creative ways we can engage with our industry peers!