The Future of Cybersecurity: Key Takeaways from RSA Conference 2024 | Blog

Discover the pivotal moments of RSA Conference 2024 in San Francisco, where AI’s transformative potential took center stage alongside the rise of cybersecurity platformization and the urgent focus on industrial security. Read on to uncover the conference’s highlights and how AI may shape the future of cyber-protection.

Like most years, the city of San Francisco came to life with the annual RSA Conference, held at Moscone Center from May 6 – 9. This time, it saw 40,000+ attendees, with hundreds of exhibitors both at the conference expo floor and in and around the Moscone Center. The city of San Francisco also ensured a smooth experience for visitors moving around the conference areas. Let’s explore the key highlights from the conference.

Art of AI possible

The theme of RSA Conference 2024 was the “art of the possible,” and it truly lived up to its tagline with a variety of AI-possible use cases and applications in cybersecurity demonstrated in large scale. There is increasingly more chatter and buzz from vendors about everything being AI-powered, AI-orchestrated, and AI-delivered. Most vendors are leveraging AI to enhance their capabilities, and at the same time, there are vendors who are positioning their existing offerings to secure the LLMs/AI. Again, at this point, all conversations are about AI governance, and not a single vendor solution exists that can completely secure the model, applications, data, and infrastructure for the AI era.

Everest Group’s recent interactions with enterprise clients demonstrate that AI adoption is still very early, with most enterprises still in the wait-and-watch state. We have built a framework to evaluate AI-driven gains in cybersecurity, which helps enterprises select the right use case for cybersecurity adoption. Learn more about the framework.

Ushering the platformization era in cybersecurity

The platform story in cybersecurity is gaining further momentum, and we’re seeing vendors expanding capabilities centered around their core offerings. As enterprises pivot preferences from best-of-breed to easy-to-integrate, the platform narrative will get stronger. We also see large system integrators building platforms to enable service delivery. Learn more about the key traits of successful platforms.

Industrial and critical infrastructure remain top of mind

Almost all the conversations with system integrators strongly focused on operational technology (OT) security, which clearly is a high-opportunity area across different industries such as manufacturing, energy & utilities, and critical infrastructure (water, pipeline, etc). The enterprise’s realization that the IT-OT air gap is no longer existent and the lack of security controls in their legacy OT systems requires fortification has driven demand for OT security solution providers. To learn more about OT providers and products, Everest Group analyzed nine global OT security technology providers and featured them on the Operational Technology (OT) Security Products PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2023.

Focused partnerships and alliances

We notice the partner and alliances ecosystem evolving between system integrators and technology vendors. A slew of announcements by technology vendors shows intent to be deeply entrenched with SIs and drive joint market outcomes. Further, we see system integrators picking and choosing partnership preferences and categorizing technology vendors across three main categories and having different market perceptions. Learn more about the three categories and service providers’ perceptions.

Role of Government in shaping regulation and cybersecurity

The US federal government agencies, FBI, CISA, and Homeland Security, have been regular participants at the RSAC conference in the past. This time, the highlight of the conference was the keynote from US Secretary of State Anthony J Bilken. This strong presence at a top cybersecurity conference highlights the US government’s urgency on cybersecurity and its role in driving cybersecurity investments. Further, CISA’s latest “secure by design” initiative has seen signatures from 68+ technology vendors, including Microsoft, Google, Cisco, AWS, and IBM, which is a voluntary commitment to “make a good-faith effort to work towards” seven goals within a year of signing the pledge and show measurable progress on the goals. CISA plans to recruit more volunteers and monitor the progress of all signatories at next year’s RSAC conference.

The current cybersecurity landscape is more complex than ever, with threat actors not leaving any respite for government agencies, technology vendors, system integrators, and other ecosystem participants. It is yet to be seen who will emerge victorious in this race to be cyber-protected. It could be that AI-led security outcomes will help determine the winner.

Learn more about the cybersecurity landscape or to ask questions, reach out to Abhishek Singh at [email protected] and Kumar Avijit at [email protected].

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