What We Learned At Money20/20 2017

Courtesy Jefferson Graham

Setting up biometrics for payment verification at Money20/20. Photo courtesy of Jefferson Graham.

Biometrics, facial recognition and implanted chips were just some of the advancements in payments at this year’s Money20/20 conference. Trending topics included digital currencies and blockchain with supporters such as Steve Wozniak and skeptics like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Uber, with partners Barclays and Visa, released a credit card. Shopping experiences are changing with augmented reality glasses, iris authentication and advanced mobile payments. Check out some of our key takeaways from this event.

New Payments/Higher Adoption With Alternative Methods

  • Only 25% of US retailers offer contactless terminals accepting mobile payments and only 10% of consumers pay with mobile. Despite these low stats, tech companies are trying new methods.
  • Biometrics – Facial recognition can be safer and more reliable than a thumbprint. Users can sign in with their eyes, facial expressions and voice. Even traditional credit card companies are adopting this. Visa is offering biometrics for its mobile wallet, Visa Checkout and Mastercard are forgoing signatures post-purchases.
  • Finger – FingoPay, a finger scanner connected to your credit card can be used without a cell phone. “You become the wallet,” said Nick Dryden of FingoPay.
  • Implanted Chips – The Wisconsin company, Three Square Market, that implanted microchips in their employees last summer also made an appearance. No batteries, pins, or passwords are needed to make a payment.

Digital Currencies and Blockchain

  • Steve Wozniak thinks Bitcoin is better than both gold and the US dollar because it cannot be diluted. Bitcoin is more mathematical than gold because it’s regulated and “nobody can change mathematics.”
  • Both bitcoin and blockchain have the potential to help financial inclusion, but there have been questions if the technology is there yet. One reason is performance. No public blockchain can match the 1,000 or more transactions per second of real-time domestic payment systems.
  • Not everyone was skeptical of these new financial solutions. Christine Duhaime, founder of the Digital Finance Institute, a Canadian fintech think tank, was all for it. For countries, such as Afghanistan, where exchanging money is dangerous and financial services are limited, bitcoin can be a safer option.

“It allows access to capital for Joe Average on the street, said Christine Duhaime, founder of the Digital Finance Institute. “It could be a farmer, it could be a billionaire – it doesn’t matter. You skip the markets, you skip the infrastructure, you get access to capital.”

Uber’s Credit Card

  • Backed by Barclays bank, Uber’s new no fee credit card adds tracking and rewards directly into the Uber app. Rewards range from such as 4% percent back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% of online purchases and 1% cash back on other transactions.
  • So what’s the catch? Lack of consumer data privacy could be one. Uber has had past issues with tracking unaware customers’ locations with God View.
  • Starting November 2, Uber will give users the option to get the card right in-app or online.

Augmented Reality Shopping  

  • Mastercard showed fashionistas the future of retail complete with an AR-based shopping experience. Shoppers could see digital representations of products through ODG’s sleek smart glasses before purchase and learn about options that are not available in stores.
  • To pay for your new clothes and accessories, Qualcomm’s technology and iris authentication allows users to select a card from their Mastercard Masterpass-enabled wallet to pay. Items could be shipped either to stores or your home for pick-up.

Highwire’s Official Black Hat 2017 Recap

After some time to reflect, here’s our recap of Black Hat 2017 in Las Vegas.

For two decades, the annual conference has been creating opportunities for like-minded security researchers, influencers and hackers to mix and mingle. Talented practitioners across the globe flock to Black Hat, jumping at the chance to show off their latest findings, research and hacking techniques. For this community, it’s all about street cred, and Black Hat prides itself as being the premier stage for the best and the brightest. This year proved no differently, and members from Highwire PR’s security practice had a front row seat on all the action. Here are the takeaways:

Black Hat is Evolving

In the world of cybersecurity, insight is key and, at times, absolutely critical. Navigating this dark and interconnected web is complicated, and for vendors working to develop the latest and greatest in threat protection, Black Hat certainly fits the bill. Highwire saw an increase in client presence beyond the typical, passive 20×20 booth set-up. Instead, our clients were actively looking to advance their knowledge, specialize their technique and better understand what their customers are facing. Black Hat has evolved into the catalyst for that learning. And the awareness is growing. Although hacker attendees still reign during this week, we’ve seen more and more clients’ C-Suite inquiring in curious and positive ways about the conference as a strategic investment.

WannaCry is Still Making Us…well, Wanna Cry

Rubbing elbows with more than 15,000 security professionals gave the Highwire team perspective into some of the year’s more notable cybersecurity breaches. We heard first-hand what attendees thought of the infamous “WannaCry” ransomware attack. Almost 50-percent of people we spoke to felt as though this particular headliner was the “most over-hyped security breach” over the past year. Interestingly enough however, a near identical percentage (46.8) felt as though WannaCry was the most serious breach over the past year.

These numbers left us wondering: How can a cyberattack so severe be considered overhyped at the same time? Perhaps this points to tensions between media and security researchers. While the damage may have been a serious one (WannaCry impacted over 230,000 computers across 150 countries), researchers could be concerned about about how the attack was portrayed from a technical perspective by the media. Those of us closely following that particular cycle will remember how important it was to sort through over-hyped speculations vs. actual facts.

Let’s Get Together

On the media front, we kept our spokespeople busy, whether it was an exchange with NBC’s Alyssa Newcomb on election hacking or a video Q&A on application security with CSO’s Fahmida Rashid. In total, our agency secured more than 80 media briefings for our clients, fostering new and existing relationships and giving them a platform to share their story. While Highwire we build relationships via phone and email for our clients, there really is not substitute for actual, 1:1 facetime with a journalist.

All in all, Black Hat was an important investment for us and our clients, and we’re already kicking things into gear for the next big show…which is RSA 2018 in 244 days. But hey, who’s counting?

Decoding Black Hat and DEF CON: A Visual Guide

Hackers descend on Las Vegas this month for Black Hat (July 22-27 at Mandalay Bay) and DEF CON (July 27-30 at Caesars Palace). Both events are opportunities to discuss the latest and greatest in IT security – whether it’s a new vulnerability discovered by threat researchers, or demoing a real-world hack, the Black Hat conference is gaining widespread popularity for today’s hacker.

The conference presents an opportunity for IT security pros looking for ways to protect their networks and gear, software and solutions vendors offering approaches to address security challenges, organizations recruiting talent, and reporters covering the scene, to all come together in one place.

The intensity of the discussions, the intent to recruit, and the concentration of security pros and researchers sharing best practices spotlights widespread networking activities. Often the trickiest part of the week is finding a quiet place to talk. Needless to say, there is a lot going on — thankfully, Highwire PR’s IT security practice offers a visual guide to the week, pointing out especially attractive networking venues, conference-organized activities and other promising social events.

 

Blackhat infographic map July 18 revised

 

It’s no surprise that security venues such as Black Hat, DEF CON, Security BSides and the RSA Conference (which took place earlier this year) continue to attract record numbers of attendees. Organizations and consumers are eager to learn about how to protect themselves and their peers given the seemingly endless inundation of IT attacks and data breaches.

Several Highwire PR members will be on site in Las Vegas during the week of Black Hat and DEF CON — supporting our clients and mingling with the press, all while keeping an ear to the ground on breaking news. Interested in our take on this year’s 2017 Black Hat and DEF CON – let us know!

Three Tips for Effective Industry Analyst Relations

While communications strategies have changed dramatically over the years, industry analysts remain an important part of a technology company’s marketing mix. Analysts provide a third-party view of a company’s innovation and approach to their respective market. Since they are close to technology buyers, they understand how vendor marketing messages will resonate with buyers. Highwire PR offers advice on the very latest technology analyst relations best practices, based on our work for clients and a conversation with Beth Hespe, Corporate Communications Manager at Ixia, a seasoned pro with her hands in both AR and PR.

Consider the Full Analyst World

When the topic of analyst relations comes up in conversations, the first names mentioned are always Gartner and Forrester. Both of these firms can be considered industry behemoths as they undoubtedly have the greatest mindshare across nearly every vertical. Businesses end-user organizations leverage these firms for their unmatched industry visibility and deep-rooted strategic market understanding. Gartner analysts alone take up to 250,000 client inquiries every year.

A contract buys you direct feedback on customer pain points and product needs and have an analyst as your advocate to recommend your product to potential buyers. As it relates to overall market understanding, Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant Report and Forrester’s annual Wave Report are touted as industry gold standards. Finding your way into the correct quadrant of one of these reports can do wonders for your business.

At the same time, while Gartner and IDC both can provide a significant amount of value to organizations, they should only be part of a company’s analyst relations mix. Before solidifying marketing budgets, startups and established companies alike should consider additional firms, many with specific industry expertise, that can help guide their marketing efforts.

IDC is unique in providing market sizing data. 451 Group and Enterprise Strategy Group are known for investigating the intersection of different emerging technology areas. Within security, market-specific firms such as Securosis have their pulse on the specific needs of IT security buyers. Seemingly obvious but often forgotten, the benefits of smaller firms are more direct access to the analysts for inquiry calls, and — what we consider to be the biggest value add — media influencer and PR support. Analysts are often willing to provide a quote for a press release or speak to the media about the benefits of your new product release. It’s not uncommon to see them quoted in trade press.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Beth Hespe at Ixia notes a few important best practices for ongoing analyst relations programs:

  • Planning & Coordination – Build in the time to target and secure your analysts, brief them and work with them. And make sure they’re available – nothing is worse than having your analyst on vacation during your launch and unavailable for interviews.
  • Leverage Your Efficiencies – Leverage efficiencies by scheduling campaigns in conjunction with a high profile industry event when target media, analysts and potential customers are in one place and at one time.
  • Consider Providing Customer Access – Consider customers and whether they’re available. Getting your customers together with your analysts and then as press references can provide extra validation that your campaign needs.

Marry AR, PR and Marketing

Hespe also notes how an analyst relations program can impact PR and marketing, and she challenges herself to find ways to integrate the efforts, leveraging analysts for more than just their traditionally thought of services. She uses them for quotes, supporting documents like white papers and blogs, events such as webinars and roundtables, large-scale surveys, and social support such as Twitter Q&A’s or videos. While some of these can be a substantial investment, you can leverage one analyst or firm to bundle your packages and ultimately save money.

At most organizations, those managing analyst relations and public relations often find themselves working under the same larger marketing umbrella; however, there are instances when these two teams operate in silos, with little contact. As the media landscape evolves, journalists’ and analysts’ roles increasingly meld together and the need for PR and AR to work in tandem becomes imperative. Especially as analysts roles morph into what can be considered “journ-analysts”(a type of influencer) who share their own opinions over Twitter or contribute articles to media outlets on a regular basis.

A truly successful marketing and communications program will bring forth strategic elements from both traditional PR and AR initiatives. If you’re not sure where to start, your PR firm often has insight and past experience to guide you.

IBM InterConnect: Connecting the Dots Between IBM and the Cloud

InterConnect, IBM’s annual cloud and cognitive conference, may have ended at the end of March, but we’re still feeling the effects of the cloud hype.

IBM InterConnect 2017 Stage

Photo via IBM

This year’s conference, a four-day long celebration of everything cloud, drew more than 20,000 attendees to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, where IBM showcased its latest innovations and made it clear that it’s committed to an enterprise-strong cloud centered around cognitive technologies. Sessions by influential speakers such as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and even Will Smith were a major highlight of the conference.

With notable partnership and software announcements, the focus of InterConnect was learning how to “become cognitive”, encouraging organizations to weave human-intellect-inspired cognitive computing into their applications and business processes. Highwire worked with the IBM team to develop an announcement strategy that would resonate with media and other key audiences and positions IBM as the leader in cloud technology.

Delivering on the Hype

The conference kicked off with the unveiling of IBM’s “Blockchain as a Service,” allowing customers to build secure blockchain networks. Continuing the momentum, IBM announced two Watson partnerships with PlayFab and Galvanize.

 

 

 

Another highlight of the conference came from CEO Ginni Rometty’s keynote address, which focused on how cloud and cognitive can come together to change the way we work. After the keynote came two more partnership announcements with Wanda Internet Technology and AT&T.

 

 

Throughout the conference, a major focus area for our team was organizing roundtables with IBM cloud executives to allow media and analysts to discuss the implications of these announcements. These roundtables covered topics such as cloud video, hybrid cloud adoption and the future of developers and offered reporters the opportunity to participate in smaller, interactive sessions.

The announcement cadence, sessions and other events proved to be successful. The conference garnered 291 articles in the U.S., further cementing IBM as a leader in cloud technology with a commitment to innovation in the enterprise.

Why the Omnichannel Shopping Approach Will Prevail: Insights from Shoptalk 2017

jeff-sheldon-3232 (2)Jeff Bezos famously said, “the customer is always right.” Today’s customers are more connected, agile and willing to try a new site or way of shopping if it means they can get a better deal or experience.

At Shoptalk 2017 traditional retailers and e-commerce giants showed how they are adapting to appeal to today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.

Here are three trends that were on the top of the agenda at Shoptalk:

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Stepping Up Their Game

Although physical stores are struggling, consumers still want the benefits that come with shopping in-person. Retailers have gotten the message: customers demand innovation and the “same old” won’t work. Kohl’s is trying smaller store formats instead of closing stores that are not performing well. For the time-crunched customer, Target is redesigning 600 suburban stores to include multiple entrances, self-checkout lanes, online order counters and groceries at the front for quick trips. Walmart is launching Store No. 8, a Silicon Valley tech incubator focused on retail innovations in robotics, augmented reality, machine learning and AI.

Shop with Your Voice Or Your Favorite Social Platform

After a trial with 20 brands, Instagram is opening its shopping feature to all fashion, apparel, jewelry and skincare brands using commerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce. With more than 600 million active users and 5 million business profiles, Instagram could overtake Pinterest to become the leader in driving e-commerce on social platforms.

For those who still want to shop locally, no worries! Google Home’s new assistant feature can determine in-store availability of products with details like sizes and prices, as well as provide store hours and travel directions.

Even e-Commerce Has to Change

Although Amazon was the leading e-commerce retailer in 2016 with more than $79 million in U.S. sales, there is still room for improvement.

 The everything store is testing a brand registry to assure vendors that intellectual property will be protected and counterfeit goods will be prevented. Any brand can register its logo and other intellectual property with Amazon starting next month. With this brand registry, both customers and the company will be able to flag counterfeit items.

To compete with Amazon Prime and its one-day shipping, eBay’s new summer program will guarantee delivery on more than 20 million items in three days or less. If a package is late, buyers can either receive credit, a refund on shipping or return the item at no cost. eBay already has a counterfeit refund program in place. As long as the knockoff item is disposed of, the company will refund both the shipping and the item’s price.

Overall, Shoptalk gave us great insight into the future of shopping for online, in-store, in-app and everywhere else.

Reflecting on HIMSS 2017: 3 Key Trends from the Healthcare Industry’s Biggest Disruptors

HIMSS sign, courtesy of FierceHealthcare

Image courtesy of FierceHealthcare

It’s a pivotal time for the healthcare industry. Healthcare has a reputation for being slow to adopt technologies, but innovators in the industry are showing that they’re ready to turn to health IT strategies to disrupt the way our health system operates.

 

Some of the greatest minds in healthcare gathered at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference last month to discuss the latest innovations and trends driving this evolution in healthcare. The most prevalent topic at HIMSS this year was the influx of data, what to do with it and how to protect it. Here are a few takeaways from the conference and how we predict they will evolve:

 

AI and the New Cognitive Era

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty kicked off the show with a keynote on the potential of cognitive computing to unlock a new “golden age” in healthcare. Rometty suggested that artificial intelligence has the power to free clinicians to engage more deeply in their primary interests by doing much of the legwork for them.

 

Rometty’s take on the ability of AI to transform the healthcare industry was not surprising given the overwhelming hype of machine learning technologies, as well as IBM Watson Health’s research and development activities over the past two years. However IBM isn’t the only company with its eyes on AI.

 

While Rometty herself admitted that AI in healthcare is a bit of a “moonshot”, companies in the industry are already proving its impact. During the conference, M*Modal announced that its AI-based clinical documentation solutions enabled physicians to free up more than 2 million hours of their time that would have otherwise been spent documenting it. And Nuance revealed results that proved clinicians can save up to 45 percent on documentation time with a 30 percent drop in errors when using their solutions.

 

The Rise of the Empowered, Engaged Patient

Knowledge is power for patients, yet historically patients have been left in the dark regarding their health data. One argument frequently raised at the conference was that patients should be allowed access to their data, especially if it can help them track and manage a condition.

 

Physicians are beginning to place a larger emphasis on care in between visits. This empowers patients to become active participants in their own health and extend their care beyond the four walls of the hospital. Additionally, there are many digital health apps that already aim to provide consumers with the ability to collect and analyze their critical health data, ushering in a new generation of informed patients.

 

With the rise of telehealth platforms and advanced remote monitoring technologies, data collected at home is as accurate as data collected at the doctor’s office. However this concept is not yet widely accepted across the healthcare sector. This gap calls for a connected healthcare model where all of the different stakeholders can share data seamlessly across systems.

 

Cybersecurity Concerns

Not surprisingly, with all this data comes the added concern of how to keep it safe. In a presentation about making the right investment in security, Mac McMillan, co-founder and CEO of health data security and privacy company CynergisTek, discussed the overwhelming need for cybersecurity adoption in healthcare. The industry suffered a record 92 privacy breaches attributed to hacking in the first 11 months of 2016, which was a 64 percent increase from 2015.

 

This trend will continue as hackers become more savvy at breaching health system data centers. Healthcare organizations are on alert and spending accordingly. 90 percent of U.S. healthcare respondents feel vulnerable to data threats, which may explain why 81 percent of U.S. healthcare organizations and 76 percent of global healthcare organizations will increase information security spending in 2017, according to a study released at the conference by 451 Research and cybersecurity technology and services vendor Thales.

 

The healthcare industry is at a crossroads. While it faces the unique challenge of encouraging an open flow of health data between patients, providers and physicians, it also must remain mindful of how to keep that sensitive information out of the wrong hands. Healthcare is certainly a sector to keep your eyes on as it continues to stride toward system interoperability and a secure, seamless data exchange.

A Week at RSA 2017: Insights from Highwire’s CyberSquad

Nation-State Activity, AI and Market Consolidation All Top-of-Mind for Security

February stands out for African-American History Month, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, but we cannot forget about the annual RSA Conference that takes place in San Francisco.

Every year, cybersecurity experts, aficionados, journalists, and Highwire’s very own #CyberSquad congregate in San Francisco for one of the premiere cybersecurity events of the year. This year’s show, the largest in the books, did not disappoint.

The conference was abuzz with talks on new offerings, partnerships and industry sentiment. The keynotes — ranging from Microsoft’s President to renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson — were also especially enlightening. Additionally, Highwire was on the show floor interviewing attendees to get the pulse on show and industry trends. Thanks to all who participated, especially those who are typically doing the interviewing — I’m talking to my reporter friends out there. Special shoutout to Bradley Barth of SC Magazine, Fahmida Rashid of InfoWorld, Paul Roberts of The Security Ledger and Katherine Teitler of MIS Training Institute for taking time out of your busy schedules to help with our man on the street videos.

At a high level, the buzz from the conference floor and attendees alike focused on nation-state cybersecurity concerns, the hype around AI, the issue of false positives, visibility and the blurred perimeter. Also of note was the sentiment around market consolidation.

We also heard from seven of our own clients in a live podcast series conducted from our annual Highwire RSA happy hour. Special thank you to Sean Sposito and our friends at CSM Passcode for partnering with us on this great event. See here to learn more about the “Rise of the Chief Digital Transformation Officer and Six Other Key Takeaways” from industry experts.

Jesse Bil Justin 2 Chris Jer Ziv

Here’s more from our in-house security pro, Erik Martinez, on what Highwire’s CyberSquad learned at the 2017 RSA Conference:

Nation-State Cybersecurity

Many at the conference discussed the ostensibly growing involvement of nation-states in cybersecurity, both as attackers and targets. The recent nefarious activity and attacks in Europe and the U.S. thought to be instigated by Russian hacker being a catalyst for this train of thought. As a result, industry leaders are prepared to expect more espionage; information and influence operations; and the destruction or disabling of data and systems. Interestingly, the common belief is that these activities will increasingly happen in the shadows after the recent wave of public discussions on the matter. This can be expected to happen through hired non-state actors like organized criminal groups.

AI: The Bell of the Ball

Like in most technology-focused industries, cybersecurity is in love with AI and machine learning. The possibilities it offers the cybersecurity space are mouthwatering and nearly everyone is touting some version of it in their solutions. But perception around AI is still mixed. Many RSA-goers equated the buzz around AI to that which big data stirred up when it first came onto the scene — a tad premature.

This is not saying that AI technology is not helpful — it is — but it will require human judgment for the foreseeable future. AI technology can execute tasks faster and with fewer errors than humans but training is still necessary and intuition lacking.

Market Consolidation

There is a coming disruption in the market in the form of market consolidation and whoever remains will like have no other option but to play nice. In terms of disjointed solutions, Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin predicts  that “the measure of [the industry’s] success will be, instead of people saying, ‘I have twenty, thirty, forty vendors, and I have to figure out how to handle that,’ they’ll say, ‘I have four hundred vendors and I’m good with it.'” He argued that this happy state would come about as vendors developed “better ways of consuming their value proposition.” In other words, all the products will work effectively and with increased cooperation as the market consolidates.

This should not be cause for alarm, as the trend could provide exits via mergers and acquisitions. Not to mention that good outcomes are likely to result from general industry cooperation. Why work against each other, when working together can be much more beneficial.

If you were in attendance, share your story in the comments — we’d love to hear about your experience!

Also, we’re hiring! If you are a security or enterprise tech PR pro interested in joining our rapidly growing team, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Nida Ilahi at nida@highwirepr.com.

The post was written by Christine Elswick who leads Highwire’s burgeoning security practice and Erik Martinez, our in-house security expert.

Join Us for Our Third Annual RSA Happy Hour and Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode Security Podcast

Mix and Mingle with Peers or Watch Live Panel Interviews with Security Luminaries

Cybersecurity has broken out of its shell and has hit center stage. Everyone is now aware of how important a matter it has become. Not only was it a major point of contention in recent political events, but it’s also become a threat to the internet’s viability. A successful attack can have wide-reaching and lasting real-world implications.

In this light, one of the biggest congregations of the top players in security will take place next week at this year’s RSA Conference. Industry luminaries will come together in San Francisco and discuss some of the hottest topics in the industry. We can expect this year to have some memorable moments.

For our own part, Highwire is hosting its third annual RSA Conference happy hour but this time with a twist. This year we are combining forces with Christian Science Monitor’s security vertical Passcode, as Sean Sposito, assistant director of content strategy, discusses hot-button items with some of our security clients. Particularly, there will be three sessions spanning the evening:

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Panel Topic: Securing the Digital Enterprise

Date/Time: Wednesday, February 15 at 5:15 p.m. PST

Location: Natoma Cabana; 90 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA (two blocks from the Moscone Center)

Panel Participant: Sumedh Thakar, chief product officer at Qualys

Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IuPX5fBqjE

 

Panel Topic: Why are we Still Not Secure

Date/Time:  Wednesday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m. PST

Location: Natoma Cabana; 90 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA (two blocks from the Moscone Center)

Panel Participants:

  • Jesse McKenna, director of product management at vArmour
  • Bil Harmer, senior director, officer of the CISO at Zscaler
  • Justin Fier, Director for Cyber Intelligence and Analysis at Darktrace

Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IuPX5fBqjE

 

Panel Topic: The Professionalization of Ransomware

Date/Time:  Wednesday, February 15 at 6:35 p.m. PST

Location: Natoma Cabana; 90 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA (two blocks from the Moscone Center)

Panel Participants:

  • Ziv Mador, VP of security research at Trustwave
  • Chris Wysopal, CTO and co-founder of Veracode
  • Jeremiah Grossman, Chief of Security Strategy at SentinelOne

Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IuPX5fBqjE

 

 

Map Your RSA Conference Week

IT security is an industry based on electronics. Bits and bytes. Wires and routers.  Software code and containers. However, for one week each year, the thought leaders within this business existing “in the ether” congregate and concentrate within a few square miles in San Francisco.

The event that brings them together, RSA Conference, will be held just a few weeks from now. RSA is big. By its own estimates, the conference attracted 40,000 attendees in 2016. That’s the number of CISOs, CIOs, IT security pros, reporters, vendors, interested bystanders, and—yes—PR pros who registered for a badge to enter the Moscone Center during the event.

With that many IT security-minded people in a small area, a series of other events stake out ground near Moscone during the week, enticing those with their own programming. Some have become traditions—everyone knows about the Securosis Recovery Breakfast on Thursday morning, for example.

Your friends at Highwire PR have put together a map of the various events taking place during the week of RSA. Some are instructional, some are celebratory, and some are meant to be cocktail-laden. Per our map below, RSA is not one event, but rather at least 13. Feel free to let us know if we’ve missed one of your favorite events in the comments below. 

HWPR_RSA_EventLocations_infographic_R5

Also, make sure to stop by Highwire PR’s event too. It’s a reception on Wednesday, February 15, from 5 – 8:00 p.m. at Natoma Cabana, 90 Natoma Street. Our event is participatory; CSM Passcode, a key industry publication, will be on hand to host a podcast recording with several IT security leaders.

During the week, it will be hard to miss members of our IT security team across the show floor, as we staff meetings and drive PR efforts for our clients. See you there!