RSA Conference, the world’s leading Information Security conferences and Expositions, after undergoing a postponement, finally concluded on 09 June 2022. The event which was previously scheduled for February 7-10, 2022 was held as a ‘Physical Event’ from 06 to 09 June 2022 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, USA.
The annual RSA Conference, offers a plethora of activities and this year the spotlights were on the latest product innovations from the security product-line. The last Physical Conference in February 2020 saw a participation of over 35,000 attendees; also, never could anyone forecast what was coming—staggering worldwide deaths from the coronavirus, emergency pandemic lockdowns, an explosion in the number of people remotely working from home, high-profile cyberattacks, and record amounts of private and public funds poured into combating cyberthreats.
The conference of June 2022 saw a renewed look among the participants as they returned to San Francisco for the first time in two years for an in-person RSA Conference, with last year’s conference having been held virtually due to COVID-19. Attendees also expressed their awe at the transformation of the industry since 2020, and the need for such platforms to thrash-out the issues that are prevalent in the cyber domain, especially on Cyber Security. Of course, many of today’s cybersecurity trends actually started emerging pre-COVID 19; yet the magnitude of Crime have only seen an increase during/ post the COVID scenario. The conference also saw over 400 vendors touting their products and services.
However, the Hot Topic of the conference among others, has been the discussion over “Ransomware”. Leveraging the lessons learned from real world large incident examples, the speakers and panellists harped on the advanced tactics being exercised in the renewed attack pattern and also contemplated on strategies to counter the Ransomware attacks.
Ransomware has become an advanced extortionate threat. While ransomware gangs enjoy record high profits, criminal immunity and virtual invisibility, organizations scramble to protect themselves and ask what it will take to stop them. The Speaker Mark Bowling, Vice President of Security Response Services, ExtraHop Networks, spoke on: Advanced tactics used by Attacker Groups, government efforts to combat the threat, and what security teams can do to reclaim the advantage.
The Speaker David Langlands, VP, Security Offerings, DXC Technology, spoke on: no-cost/low-cost strategies organizations can take within to become less susceptible to a breach due to Ransomware, and also be equipped with strategies to isolate and contain a breach if one does occur, and most importantly, get back to business as usual as quickly as possible.
Business eMail Compromise (BEC) and Ransomware are the two biggest threats today. The speaker Crane Hassold, Director of Threat Intelligence, Abnormal Security, mentioned the linking factors among the BEC and ransomware attack, even if these seem to be completely opposite sides of the threat spectrum, he mentioned that the damage to the enterprise is multi-fold. He presented the different variables in these two form of Cyber Attacks and explained to the audience why these attacks have been so successful and how to better defend against them in the future.
A Panel Discussion on the Topic “Progress in the Year of Ransomware: Analysis with the Ransomware Task Force” was Moderated by, Phil Reiner, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Security and Technology and Ransomware Task Force. The Panel Members: Michael Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cyber Threat Alliance; Michael Phillips, Chief Claims Officer, Resilience and Megan Stifel, Chief Strategy Officer, Institute for Security and Technology; extensively discussed the topic while analyzing the progress made on a comprehensive national ransomware strategy, including discussion of cyber insurance, cryptocurrency regulations, law enforcement actions, private sector disruptive activities, and preparedness of critical infrastructure.
The RSA Conference of 2022 had two keynote stages: The West Stage which featured sponsor keynotes, panels and esteemed guest speakers, and the South Stage which brought highly coveted sessions from industry experts. The two stages saw a large number of attendees who benefited from the participation of prominent speakers and experts from the field. The participation of hundreds of vendors, 600+ speakers, 25 track sessions, 350+ sessions, and 400+ exhibitors from across the industry, also provided a new dimension at the conference.
The 2022 conference was held in a hybrid fashion, with the on-site and on-line mode in place. The theme of the conference was “Transform” — transformation of not only the modern workplace and evolving threat landscape, but of security professionals’ roles and the industry as a whole.