RSA Conference 2019, San Francisco – Overview and Conference Exhibitor quotes (Part 1 of 2)

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One of the many RSA Conference Exhibitor Floors and IBM Security Keynote Session
Photo Credit – Bill Owen


By Bill Owen – – March 22, 2019

This will be Part One of a two-part series of quotes from key contacts from a number of the Exhibitors at the RSA Conference that was held on March 4-8, 2019 in San Francisco. Part Two will be posted next week.


Overview of Conference

There were approximately 42,500 attendees, over 700 Exhibitors and 740 speakers and many sessions and seminars to attend. I attended a number of sessions and they were very informative with key information to take away for many attendees, depending on your focus.

Along with the well-known cybersecurity companies, there were a host of up-and-coming companies making their mark in the space. The emergence of new companies comes from the development of new and exciting technologies and the shear demand/need for their existence. The Dept. of Homeland Security (both the Cybersecurity Communications and Science & Technology Divisions), Deloitte, FBI, Dell Technologies, Intel Corporation, IBM Security, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, NSA, Oracle, Symantec, McAfee, Unisys, VMware and many, many others were represented. A link to the Exhibitor list follows.


RSA Conference 2019, San Francisco key links:

Breakdown review of each day of the RSA Conference via the RSAC Editorial Team:


As a review prior to the quotes, I have to say that this conference was a great experience, not only due to the high level of expertise of the people there, but the overall energy of the entire conference. There was an incredible amount of interaction between Exhibitors and Attendees. I personally found that the vast majority of company representatives, all the way through and including C-Suite executives, were engaging and very upbeat about what their company has to offer now and into the future. It was a level of excitement that I have not seen at a conference or trade show in some time. The fact that many were very open to supply quotes and provide their take was a testimony to the general environment there. It is an important time for the cybersecurity industry as a whole. As you will see from the following quotes, threats are a constant, but so is the focus and diligence of expert companies and personnel in combating them. I would like to thank all of the contributors for their input on the following quotes:

Exhibitor Quotes                                                        

The following is Part One of a two part series on quotes from key personnel at companies that I visited this year, regarding their take on the state of cybersecurity currently, and what their companies are focused on regarding mitigation of threats within their specialty area.



“You can steal an identity, but you can’t steal behavior. The key to predicting threats, especially unknown threats, is to monitor user and entity behavior – to recognize when that behavior starts being anomalous. Rules don’t catch changes in behavior patterns. Gurucul’s Behavior Based Security Analytics and Intelligence powered by machine learning on big data detects and stops malicious behavior before cyber criminals or rogue insiders can do harm.”

Jane Grafton, Vice President of Marketing  Gurucul


“Crypto agility is absolutely critical to the enterprise in 2019. From rising concerns around data privacy, to the compliance challenges associated with legislation like GDPR, to the rise of connected devices – InfoSec teams have a lot to be accountable for. Companies clearly embrace encryption technology, but there’s an increasing need to handle encryption keys in a scalable and agile way. In fact, Keyfactor research shows that 71% of companies don’t even know how many keys or digital certs they have, which can result in massive outages, misuse and security holes. The need to manage keys in a seamless and automated way is evident in our findings. Threat vectors, such as advances in quantum computing, move the need for crypto agility to a priority for any organization.”

Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer Keyfactor

Sumo Logic

“There were over 700 exhibitors at RSA 2019, up from about 650 in 2018. With so many organizations moving to the cloud, it is surprising how many of these vendors are still taking a premise-based approach. Even many of the “cloud” solutions are just hosted versions of their appliances. Many of the visitors to our booth expressed frustration that these legacy solutions are blind to cloud applications and do not scale to meet their growing data requirements. Sumo Logic’s ability to provide visibility across local and cloud-based assets has made it invaluable as not only a development and operational tool, but also as an efficient investigation and alerting tool for security teams.”

—Roger Shepard, Head of Global Security Partner Sales – Sumo Logic



“The growth and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning were major trending topics throughout the conference, which coincided perfectly with our recent study on Dynamic Marketplaces. With more organizations making their move to the cloud, the modern workplace grows increasingly complex. This means the role of the CIO will continue to evolve; 97% of CIOs we interviewed said the most successful professionals in their role will have made the transition from delivering technology to driving business value across their organizations. We shared these insights — and what this means for the future of work — from our booth, bringing OneLogin’s industry-leading access management solutions to the forefront.”

—Miles Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer – OneLogin

Carbon Black

“Cybersecurity continues to be a work in progress. Organizations need to invest in the people, processes and technology to truly remain secure long term. Attackers will continue to change tactics and techniques to thwart and bypass traditional defensive tools deployed across the globe. Organizations need to become more proactive by ensuring they have the right technology to see the behaviors behind these ever shifting attacks and move to disrupt them.”

—Rick McElroy, Head of Security Strategy – Carbon Black


“Cybersecurity is a challenge for organizations of all sizes today. The threat landscape continues to grow in scope and sophistication while security operations centers (SOC) struggle to keep up with staffing requirements to manage alerts. In order to overcome these obstacles, organizations need to augment their SOCs with forward looking security tools that embrace human machine teaming through the combination of data, threat behavior and human analysis. By combining data with the right analysts, organizations can begin to get the upper hand on attackers.”

—Grant Bourzikas, CISO and VP, Data Science Applied Research – McAfee


“Ransomware has become one of the most important threats to business in the past 5 years, and over 70 percent of CIOs fear their businesses are vulnerable to it. Crypto-ransomware operators are now moving away from the consumer space and into business-critical systems. Hospitals, managed service providers, education and telecommunications providers are now the top target for ransomware. GandCrab, which is the most prevalent ransomware family in the wild to date, asks for payment of up to $7000,000 per compromised server. Layered technologies to defend against ransomware, fast patching cycles and network isolation are key to business continuity in the new threat landscape.

—Bogdan “Bob” BOTEZATU, Director of Threat Research & Reporting – Bitdefender


Key Management and Identity Management are a dramatic concern for CISOs. Key Management and securing the Root-of-Trust is their biggest headache as Phishing and Identity-related attacks are the biggest attack vector in enterprises today. Time and time again people fall victim to these attacks without adequate security mechanisms in place, relying on security Band-Aids for issues that dedicated hardware-based security can solve. You don’t leave your car keys in your car, which is why you shouldn’t leave your secrets and private keys next to your encrypted data, but rather store them in tamper-evident and intrusion-resistant Hardware Security Module (HSM). Providing the highest level of physical security for your most valuable data assets is at the heart of what we do at Utimaco.

—Malte Pollmann, Chief Strategy Officer – Utimaco

Arctic Wolf Networks

“Mid-market enterprises continue to struggle to locate and retain talent needed for security operations. CIOs and CISOs recognize that having a security operations center (SOC) is a best practice, but the eight to 12 analysts that Gartner estimates you need for 24×7 coverage is beyond the means of most enterprises. You are seeing a move towards services that combine people, process and technology in a concierge way to achieve better security outcomes using fewer resources.  For managed detection and response, Arctic Wolf recently added vulnerability assessment to our portfolio so we can now identify vulnerabilities in addition to our SOC-as-a-service for detecting and responding to threats.”

—Brian NeSmith, President & CEO – Arctic Wolf Networks

Fidelis Cybersecurity 

“The current state of cybersecurity is weakened by too many bolt on tools addressing one-off issues – the result is a cumbersome stack of technologies that don’t talk to each other, causing operational fatigue, lack of data visibility and correlation and ultimately real threats being missed.

Fidelis helps organizations mitigate known and unknown threats with Network, Endpoint, and Deception solutions that are tightly integrated into a unified platform, as well as with external vendor solutions. Services are also available on top of point products, including Managed Detection and Response, customized/tailored threat intelligence, and data science. The result is deep visibility across the entire cyber terrain to facilitate fast and efficient threat hunting and detection and response capabilities.”

—Tim Roddy, Vice President, Product Management and Product Marketing – Fidelis Cybersecurity


Note: Here is a link to an article authored by Brian NeSmith, President & CEO of Arctic Wolf Networks (quote above) back on Dec. 28, 2018 for Forbes: Cybersecurity Predictions For 2019 that I noted in a previous blog on Feb. 1, 2019: Cybersecurity, What Is It And What Does It Mean To Me?  His article offers clarity on areas of cybersecurity and the implications that need to be considered.