RSA Conference keynote kickoff: what it means to be “Stronger Together”

· 2 MIN READ · ANDY RODGER · APR 25, 2023 · TAGS: Company news

Perhaps more than any other industry, the world of cybersecurity requires community. Much ink (real and digital) has been spilled on this notion since the dawn of the space, as companies and individuals realized early on they’d need to take special care to protect their vital assets in the cyber realm. Fighting cybercriminals takes everyone–defenders, leaders, vendors, partners, competitors, frenemies, rivals, and, well, everybody–coming together to combat those that mean us harm, whether it’s for financial gain, IP theft, espionage, sowing chaos, or just for mischief.

This community convenes this week in San Francisco for RSA Conference 2023, and it’s events like these that demonstrate the strength of this community. It’s here that we share what we’ve learned about the trends, technologies, and techniques that had the greatest impact in the previous year, as well as what’s poised to affect us most in the year ahead.

The “Stronger Together” theme of this year’s conference is front-and-center. But the mission runs much deeper than the signs around the Moscone Center and the slide decks on stage—it’s evident in the programming, too. The agenda features a wide range of technical sessions—of course—but it also features sessions on diversity and growing the cybersecurity workforce, both in size and experience. It includes the latest on perennial favorites like hacking tactics and incident response, as well as emerging ones, like the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) for criminals and defenders alike.

So when the lights dimmed and the music started to introduce the keynote, it wasn’t surprising to hear a voiceover reminding us that, “We are more than an industry. We are a community. No matter where you are in the world, we’re always here to welcome you home.”

This theme was also reflected in the opening to the keynote, delivered by Saturday Night Live legend and Portlandia star, Fred Armisen. He got the crowd laughing and heads bopping with his take on guitar music genres and lyrical styles from the ’60s through the early 2000s. But when he got the crowd to its feet to sing along to “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles, the idea of being “stronger together” really started to coalesce.

Following Fred Armisen is no easy feat, but RSA Conference program committee chair Hugh Thompson delivered. He reminded the crowd that this event is about the fellowship among others that face the same challenges, and we’re all here to build bridges and connections. He reminded us that when we chose a career in cybersecurity, we also committed to being life-long learners. Our adversaries are just as creative, smart, and well-resourced as we are, so we must constantly learn to stay ahead.

This challenge is particularly important in the field of science and technology. Thompson very aptly noted that when advancements emerge, they shine a bright light. This light represents an opportunity, but it also casts a shadow in which our adversaries operate.

But that’s okay. We’re shadow experts. We know where to look, where to shine more light, and how to expose attackers and their tactics. Thompson only held the stage for a few brief minutes, but his message was clear: we’re a community, and together we’ll emerge victorious.

If you’re interested in learning about Expel’s role in the cybersecurity community, visit us in the South Hall of the Moscone Center, booth 0954. And be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, where we’re posting frequent updates about our booth happenings and what we’re hearing in sessions.