We went to RSA Conference and this is what we noticed

At the beginning of May, we were present at the RSA Conference 2024 in San Francisco. Wouter Decruy and Christophe Vereycken, represented ACEN at this cybersecurity event. 

The RSA Conference has the reputation of bringing together industry leaders, technology partners, vendors and cybersecurity professionals to explore the newest trends, advancements and innovations in the field.

Exploring Innovations at RSA Conference 2024

The RSA Conference is known for its comprehensive coverage of cybersecurity trends and technologies. Most of the important vendors and implementation partners could be found in San Francisco between the 6th and 9th of May. The 4 day event offers interesting insights for organizations looking to enhance their digital security strategies.

ACEN was invited to co-host the Flanders investment & Trade (FIT) booth. While roaming the conference we noticed some interesting things, things we would like to share with you.

So without further ado: here are the three key takeaways from the event:

Takeaway #1 - AI - What else?

The main topic at the RSA Conference, or at least the most talked about, was of course AI. We saw a lot of evolution in this amazing technology. The possibilities are endless, but we are not yet where we would like to be. The Future’s looking bright and we are looking forward to everything it is going to bring. 

Double-edged sword

But we have to be on our guard. AI can also be seen as a double-edged sword: While AI can help us with our job efficiency and automate a lot of our repetitive tasks, we also have some concerns about its potential misuse. And we are not alone… 75% of surveyed professionals in the “ISC2 artificial Intelligence Survey” are moderately to extremely concerned about AI being used for malicious activities. Besides that there are also concerns about AI-related threats such as deepfakes, misinformation, lack of regulation, and ethical concerns.

Reports, reports, reports

During the event, most of the AI cases were linked to the reporting part. Tools create a lot of data. Analyzing all this data, discovering connections and creating reports can be a time consuming job. But AI to the rescue.

Additionally we noticed a lot of value for non-technical persons in this domain. Now they can ask (prompt), whatever they want in human language to the AI models. What they get back is a comprehensive and easy to understand answer. Completely tailored to their needs. No need to harass the technical persons anymore (which gives them more time to focus on their job).

Takeaway #2 - Each vendor, their own platform

This is a trend that we have been seeing for some time… most of the vendors are expanding their offering and their software features. This results in a platform per vendor. All the build-in features are made visible in a neat dashboard. This makes it easier and more efficient to keep an overview of everything that is going on. An additional advantage of these all-inn platforms is that the overall costs will drop when using multiple technologies from one vendor.

However, the trend goes beyond consolidating solutions into one platform. Vendors are building ecosystems and striving to offer a Swiss-knife solution across the entire spectrum of cybersecurity. This indeed positively impacts costs compared to multiple solutions, and delivery speed is generally higher. It allows CISOs to roll out controls more quickly and cost-effectively.

Our 2 cents?

Think twice (or three times) before choosing a specific vendor. In the past you chose a technology and picked the vendor most fit for your organization. Having multiple vendors was normal. Nowadays, most vendors offer a wide range of technologies. Which is a good thing because everything is centralized, everything is integrated with each other, this saves a lot of time and leads to less errors. 

The drawback?

The line between an ecosystem and an “ego-system” is very thin. This results in very little attention to (open) standards, which can lead to a vendor or technology lock-in. When an organization wants to switch vendors for any reason, it becomes very difficult because they are deeply invested in the technology stack, making switching not as easy as it should be.

At ACEN, we don’t take the choice of vendors for our clients lightly. We are a vendor-independent organization. We’re looking for the best fit for our customers, but we look further than short-term solutions. We guard the sustainability of the solutions we suggest and recommend to our clients.

Want to talk to one of our experts about choosing the right solution for you? 

Click here: www.acen.eu/book-a-meeting/

Takeaway #3 - Cybersecurity budgets are growing, finally

The final key takeaway we would like to cover in this articel is the significant increase in cybersecurity budgets. A trend we love to see of course. Organizations are finally beginning to recognize the importance of investing in cybersecurity.

According to research by LevelBlue (a new alliance from AT&T and WillJam Ventures), the cybersecurity spendings in 2024 increased 11% compared to 2023. This growth in budget allocation reflects a heightened focus on enhancing cyber resilience and a proactive cybersecurity posture. 

What triggered organizations to increase their security budget? The 2 most heard triggers during the event were:

  • The recent and more frequent attacks all over the world 
  • The new regulations that are enforced by governments (think about NIS2).

However, we would like to add an additional (primary) driver: the increased awareness at the highest level of leadership.

Frequent attacks and new regulations indirectly lead to higher budgets, but it is especially the awareness at the highest level that has a positive effect. Business leaders are becoming aware of the impact on their business and the resulting damage. The damage is not only financial but also extends to reputation, politics, etc. 

Nowadays threats come from so many angles and with so many different motivations. Today it could be organized crime, tomorrow hacktivists. And who knows what the day after will bring…

In this ever-changing economy, where we move from crisis to crisis (corona, war, energy…), it opens our eyes and teaches us to handle these situations differently and to seek structural stability in the long term. The time for quick fixes is over.

Conclusion

The RSA Conference 2024 showed us how rapidly the cybersecurity landscape is evolving. Our key takeaways from the event show us AI is here to stay (duh!), the trend towards comprehensive vendor platforms, and the encouraging growth in cybersecurity budgets. 

 

Interested to take a deep dive into this matter with one of our experts?

Do not hesitate to get in contact and book a meeting with one of our experts!

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