How to Get the Most Out of the RSA Conference 2018

On April 16–20, the security industry will once again convene in downtown San Francisco for the annual RSA conference (RSAC). For those of you who haven’t been, RSAC is the premier security conference and exhibition of the year, with more than 40,000 expected attendees and 500 vendors set to show off the latest technologies in the field.

The expo floor at the Moscone Center will be split into two halls, North and South. The North Hall has the largest and smallest booths, and you can download the exhibit floor plans to see where your favorite vendors will be setting up shop. There is also an educational component, although it can be a mixed bag of hype and helpful information since vendors have to pay to participate.

Introductory seminars and tutorials, which have been well-attended in the past, will take place on Monday, April 16. The conference will wrap up on Friday, April 20, with a stirring closing keynote by RSA Conference Program Chair Hugh Thompson and other industry experts about the exciting yet uncertain future of artificial intelligence (AI). Below is a peek at what attendees can expect during the main part of RSAC, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, including masterful keynotes, gripping panel sessions and interactive experiences that touch on a wide range of today’s most relevant cybersecurity topics.

What to Expect at This Year’s RSA Conference

Emerging security startups will strut their stuff at the Marriott Early Stage Expo, which is located across the street from the Moscone Center and will be open late Tuesday and then all day Wednesday and Thursday. The selection criteria for this exhibit are rigorous, so you might want to spend some time perusing the RSAC website to determine which of the dozens of vendors are most worth crossing the street to check out.

Next door to the Early Stage Expo is the RSAC Sandbox, which features several engaging, hands-on sessions, starting with a beer tasting on Tuesday night. The Sandbox and Marriott lobby are great places to meet and network with fellow attendees who want to take a breather from the main conference without getting too far from the action.

It would also be well worth your time to check out some of the panels and keynotes featuring prominent women in cybersecurity and the technology space in general. Below are a few of the most interesting.

More Noteworthy Sessions, Panels and Keynotes

Below are some other noteworthy sessions that you might want to put on your schedule during the main part of the conference, broken down by day.

Tuesday, April 17:

  • The Cryptographers’ Panel” (9:20 a.m.) — This session will feature cryptographer Whitfield Diffie and RSA co-founders Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir.
  • Hype or Myth: Smart Home Security” (11:30 a.m.) — ESET’s Tony Anscombe will talk about the various risks associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and what you can do about them.

Wednesday, April 18:

Thursday, April 19:

Something for Everyone at RSAC 2018

If you aren’t going to the show or don’t want to jump back and forth between several concurrent sessions, you can play back session recordings online via the RSA Conference onDemand program, which will be rolled out for the first time this year. If you do plan to make the trip to San Francisco, be sure reserve your spot at the sessions you hope to attend through the web portal as soon as possible — many of the more popular talks are already at capacity.

No matter where your interests lie, there is something for every cybersecurity enthusiast at this year’s RSA Conference. Don’t miss one of the best chances you’ll have all year to rub elbows with experts, meet like-minded security professionals and immerse yourself in the latest trends, technologies and talking points of cybersecurity.

David Strom

Security Evangelist

David is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, video blogger, and online communications professional who also...