RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, announced the conclusion of its 8th regional event which was reimagined and hosted as a virtual learning experience due to public health and safety concerns. Participants gathered online for the 3-day Conference to explore the latest cybersecurity threats and trends through expert-led keynotes, track sessions and interactive programs.
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The Conference drew over 14,000 registrations representing 142 countries with high international participation from Singapore, India, Australia, Japan, US, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada and Malaysia.
“Despite the changing circumstances in the world around us, we remain committed to bringing the cybersecurity community together to exchange ideas and unique perspectives, because the only way our industry gets stronger is if we all learn from each other,” said Linda Gray Martin, Senior Director and General Manager, RSA Conference.
“The human element was truly evident over the last three days, and we are heartened by the positive responses and engagement we saw at this year’s virtual conference. With hybrid events likely to be the model going forward, we look forward to bringing RSA Conference back to Asia bigger and better in 2021,” continued Martin.
Experts at RSA Conference 2020 APJ weigh in on Navigating Cybersecurity in a Post COVID-19 world
Weaving in a recording of the powerful opening from the RSAC 2020 event in San Francisco, George Takei, Author, Performer and Activist, opened up the Conference with an uplifting monologue on The Human Element. “I ask you to think of your own human element – if we celebrate our differences, we can go where no one else has gone before. Embrace your similarities, celebrate your differences and revel in the possibility that everyone you meet is so different, yet so alike in possessing the elements that can change our world,” he exhorted.
In his opening keynote, Rohit Ghai, President of RSA, discussed the importance of the human element in building resilience across the regional and global cybersecurity sector. Recognizing the many changes in the last few months due to the pandemic, he shared, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything in how we work, live and play. As we have all adapted to remote work, attackers have adapted too and we have seen a rise in fraud, phishing and ransomware related threats.”
Rohit shared that success in cybersecurity is not about the eradication of threats but ensuring that we bend the curve and ensure business resilience despite threats. “The story of 2020 may look like science fiction, but it is about our triumph in overcoming the storm together. We need to turn to each other for clarity and inspiration. This Conference was designed to help us achieve that, to foster connections that enable us to overcome challenges,” concluded Ghai.
On the second day of the Conference, Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President Cybersecurity Solutions Group, Microsoft, expounded the importance of digital empathy and how the user needs to remain at the center of the fight for cybersecurity. “Digital empathy is so critical to how we move forward as an industry. Whether it is an organization or individual our ability to be empathetic helps us understand and adapt to the needs of others during any time of disruption,” explained Johnson.
“Security technology is fundamentally about improving productivity and collaboration for inclusive and secure user experiences. I do remain optimistic and positive that as we work to empower people through zero trust, greater diversity of data, cyber resilience, integrated security solution and digital empathy, all of this together will lead to greater, inclusive digital experiences for everyone.”
The Conference concluded with its annual highlight, The Hugh Thompson Show led by Dr Hugh Thompson, RSA Conference Program Committee Chair. This year, the focus was on celebrating the power in each individual to impact the world for good. He was joined by George Takei where they discussed Star Trek as a vehicle and metaphor of technology innovation, and how it embodied human relationships and ingenuity.
Dr. Thompson provided further insight into what this meant for today’s world, “The current crisis that we are in is pushing the boundaries of innovation in so many ways. Yet we are seeing interesting and even positive consequences of adapting – for example, so many more people have been a part of RSA Conference this year because it was virtual and they were a part of it from their homes and their living rooms.”
“Every catastrophe is for the human mind to do something with,” explained Takei. “Today we are living in a catastrophic time, but out of this will come a better society because we are problem solvers. Particularly under pressure like this, the creative mind, coupled with boldness and risk taking when people say it cannot be done, goes beyond that to make this possible.”
In addition to the keynotes, other Conference highlights included:
- 76 sessions with 99 speakers, 10 conference tracks and 24 Community Partners
- Interactive sessions including Ask the Expert and Capture the Flag sessions, as well as live speaker Q&A and a virtual networking lounge
- Industry-Relevant Conference tracks – Analytics, Intelligence & Response; Cloud, Mobile & IoT Security; DevOps Connect: DevSecOps; eFraud & Threats; Global Insights; Identity & Privacy; Risk Management & Governance; Software & Product Security; Strategy, Architecture & Operational Security and The Human Element.
Experts weigh in on the next wave of cybersecurity priorities and reflect on learnings at RSA Conference 2020 APJ
Over the three days of insightful presentations and sharing, experts and attendees alike agreed that conversations would continue beyond the Conference and be impactful in informing business decisions for the rest of the year.
“RSA Conference 2020 APJ once again delivered a great experience for attendees, and the Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium was thrilled to be a part of this virtual learning event. This year marks the second year of our partnership with RSA Conference in Asia Pacific and Japan, and we are heartened to see keen interest from the next generation of cybersecurity talents,” said Dr Vivy Suhendra, Executive Director, Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium.
“Cyber defense is a crucial component of national and international defense, especially in these challenging times, and it is a rapidly evolving domain that calls for continuous learning and innovation. RSA Conference plays an influential role in sharing intelligence and upskilling practitioners to respond to this challenge. We will continue making every effort, alongside partners like RSA Conference, to support talents and innovators in the sector as they work to establish a secure digital environment that we all rely on every day,” she continued.
Echoing these sentiments, John Lee, Managing Director, GRF Asia-Pacific shared, “It was great to be a part of RSAC 2020 APJ’s virtual learning experience and to see that interaction and engagement with the community did not stop despite us not meeting in-person. Rather, that it was amplified, with more being able to join us from around the world.”
On priorities for the new normal, Lee explained, “More than ever, we need to equip not only our front-line cyber professionals, but everyday end users because breaches can lead to damaging consequences. Intelligence sharing continues to be a priority for effective responses and greater cyber resilience. Moving forward, it is my hope that learnings from programs like RSAC are taken into organizations to create an environment of learning and sharing.”
RSA Conference 2021 Asia Pacific & Japan takes place July 27 to 29, 2021 in Singapore. Prior to that, and RSA Conference 2021 will take place on the week of May 17th, 2021 in San Francisco.
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About RSA Conference:
RSA Conference is the premier series of global events and on-demand programs where the world talks security and leadership gathers, advances and emerges. Whether attending in the US, the EMEA region, the Asia-Pacific region or online, RSA Conference events are where the security industry converges to discuss current and future concerns and get access to the people, content and ideas that help enable individuals and companies to win, grow and do their best. It’s about bringing all people in the cybersecurity industry together and empowering the collective “we” of the cybersecurity industry to stand against cyberthreats around the world. RSA Conference is the ultimate marketplace for the latest technologies and hands-on educational opportunities that help industry professionals discover how to make their companies more secure while showcasing the most enterprising, influential, and thought-provoking thinkers and leaders in security today. For information on events, online programming and the most up-to-date news pertaining to the cybersecurity industry visit www.rsaconference.com.
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