RSA 2022: a First-Time Attendee's First Impressions & Key Takeaways

Blog Author
Gabriela Silk

As a Content Marketing Specialist with only a little over a year in the industry, RSAC 2022 was my first cybersecurity conference, with things I didn’t expect, a few I would do again, and a caliber of conversation, insight, and meaningful relationship I found to define my experience. 


5 Things I didn't expect from RSA

The level of outside engagement beyond the stage floor. Lobbies, sidewalks, elevators, restaurants, after hour elixirs, an event hosted by the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, among other areas and events proximal to the show hall were all viable meeting places, and places to find meaningful conversation.


The cybersecurity space is friendly? With those who are passionate about it fostering a sense of community. Intersecting with cybersecurity through their careers in digital marketing, engineering, and other professions, I learned of diverse ways an entire array of cybersecurity professionals found themselves in the industry, with almost all of which stating an absolute zero interest in leaving. And almost most of which expressing a sense of exigence in, a personal connection to, and/or a sense of hope in their ability to affect change in an area that remains so pervasively mission critical.


Networking is expected, and no better place to learn about Linkedin’s new barcode scan than San Francisco.


How each of our team members speak to our product is different, and hearing the iteration of our platform’s value cross functionally and laterally was an asset. Sales team members, engineers, and executive leadership all have different value propositions they prioritize, and this coupled by use case was especially fascinating.


5 Things I wish I had done more of

Attended sessions

  • Cybersecurity as a National Security Imperative, led by Bobbie Stempfley at Dell Technologies and Jen Easterly, United States Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. 
  • The Power of a Positive Mindset, led by author and speaker Jessica Long, detailing her belief that the only disability in life is a negative attitude and how to develop a mindset that capitalizes on the power of positive thinking.
  • The Marie Kondo Approach to Security, lead by Bob Lord, CISA, and Hugh Thompson on how the tidying and condensing of decisions can ‘spark joy,’ in an organization, operations,... and maybe, a platform?
  • Hugh Thompson Show: Exploring Information Disorder, led by Katie Couric and Rashad Robinson, President of civil rights advocacy nonprofit Color Of Change founded by Van Jones, detailing the crisis of trust and truth, and the danger the slope of discord in information presents, along with what role government, private sector, and individuals play in furthering its epidemic.
  • Fair Institute: Fair Analysis Fundamentals, covering the Factor Analysis of Information (FAIR) model and methods recognized as an Informative Reference to the NIST CSF, adopted as an international standard for risk analysis by The Open Group, aligned to ISO 31000 and other standards, and backed by a worldwide network of risk researchers, managers, and analysts in the FAIR Institute. Helping organizations find clarity on risks they face so they can most cost-effectively manage them, the FAIR model and quantitative risk analysis equips organizations with a logical, repeatable, and defensible model for analyzing risk in financial and probabilistic terms, detailing how high/medium/low or 1-5 ratings and subjective heat maps are not sufficient to inform efficient and cost-effective risk management decisions. 

Slept (not really).

Understood the sentiment other companies felt related to the future of Log4J caliber zero day exploit response.

Understood the sentiment other companies felt related to cybersecurity gaps across the entirety of US critical and business infrastructure.

Gone for a second fresh baked cookie. 


3 Things I would do again

  • Prioritize time with my team and colleagues.
  • Escape to Chinatown for the best quick dimsum.
  • Welcome the wealth of conversation, insight, and connection found at the conference and all of the spaces we spent four days frequenting. 


- Gabriela Silk