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Privacy, Organized Cybercrime, Data Sovereignty Take Center Stage at RSA Conference

By TC Doyle
February 19, 2014 - News

Snowden. Target. Bot herders.

If you’re in the business of protecting digital assets, these words no doubt send a chill up and down your spine. Make that you and everyone else in security.

Expect these and other topics to be foremost on the minds of thousands of professionals expected to converge on San Francisco on Feb. 24 for the kickoff of RSA Conference USA 2014, one of technology’s largest and arguably most important events for the security community.

On hand for the event will be RSA Executive Chairman Arthur Coviello, FBI Director James Comey and Juniper Networks Senior Vice President and General Manager of Security Nawaf Bitar, just to name a few.

In advance of the conference, Channel Partners has taken a look at some of the trends and developments expected to be front and center. In a Q&A released on the 18th, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Avivah Litan said attendees should expect to hear a lot of talk about the recent security infractions that had made customers incredibly nervous of late.

“Many of the speakers and vendors at the show will likely leverage the plethora of security infractions of the last year to create a sense of urgency for more intelligent solutions," she wrote. “I expect ‘intelligent analytics’ and ‘context aware security’ to be underlying themes."

Also big at RSA 2014: data sovereignty, identity management and privacy.

On Tuesday, Coviello is expected to devote his keynote address on the topic of “identity," which RSA says “lies at the heart of online security."

"The rapid growth of cloud, social and mobile technology is pushing how we protect and manage identity to the breaking point," the company says. “Those same technologies combined with the insight of big data, however, point the way to how we can redefine and recreate identity for the Age of Intelligence-Driven Security."

In a much anticipated session, FBI Director Comey will discuss “The FBI and the Private Sector: Closing the Gap in Cyber Security." Comey is expected to offer insights on the threats to our national security and the work being done to prevent it. He’s also expected to make the point that the security community needs to close the gap between the government and the private sector — a controversial position given the government’s involvement in deep data collection and analysis.

Given the increased number of threats to the nation’s digital infrastructure and data integrity, a number of technology professionals are calling for the security community to become more proactive and aggressive when it comes to protecting virtual assets. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Art Gilliland, senior vice president with HP’s Software Enterprise Security Products group, is expected to call for the industry to “stop looking for the silver bullet" and “start thinking like a bad guy." In his keynote, he is expected to point out that organizations worldwide spent roughly $46 billion last year, most of it on defense. Despite the huge sum, institutional security breaches increased 20 percent over the year previous.

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