Illumio Blog
February 9, 2017

Getting the Most Out of RSA 2017: A Practitioner's Guide

John Donovan,

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RSA Conference 2017 is fast approaching and the Illumio team has been buzzing around getting ready. I’ve been doing research to decide on my schedule for this year’s conference and thought I’d share some thoughts on how security practitioners can get the most out of the busy week ahead. 

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free expo pass (don't pass it up)

If you already have an expo pass, kudos to you. Skip ahead to my trusty three-pronged approach to getting the most out of your conference experience.

If you still need an expo pass, we have you covered. Many of the best conversations at conferences happen on the expo floor, in the hallways, or outside the walls of the conference hall, so it’s well worth attending for the expo alone. Register for your free expo pass using Illumio’s code: XE7LLUMEX.

Want to attend the full conference? Many organizations will help you get a discounted full pass if you don’t already have one. For instance, if you are an ISSA International member, you can find a discount code here. Once you have your discount code, head over to the RSA Conference site to register.

CONCURRENT AND RELATED EVENTS

Tickets for the Security BSidesSF event are currently on sale.

If you’re a CISO or an executive-level security practitioner, the ISSA CISO Executive Forum meets on February 11th and 12th, the weekend before RSA, but you’ll need to register ASAP. Get up and out early for Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Strategy at Illumio, on Sunday at 10:45 AM: Rooting Out Evil: Defend Your Data Center Like the Secret Service Protects the President

DevOps.com is hosting their 4th annual Wine-ing (not whining!) event on Monday evening, February 13th, at Jillian’s. You can register to attend this Illumio-sponsored event. 

My three-pronged approach to getting the most out of RSA

1. Plan your sessions

If you’re attending the full conference, I recommend that you begin by anchoring your days with a few key sessions. Then, pick a few alternatives so you can duck out if your first choice doesn’t look like it’s what you want.

If you’re attending as part of a group from your company, have your team branch out and then meet back up at breaks during the day. Here are some suggestions to get your planning ideas going:

  • Are you a new leader in information and cybersecurity? Reserve a seat for this session: CISO as Change Agent: Getting to Yes.
  • Looking to connect your DevOps and security teams? Register them for DevOps Connect: DevSecOps Edition.
  • Want to geek out with the hardcore crypto guys? Attend The Cryptographers' Panel for a luminary panel discussion that includes Whitfield Diffie and two of the guys whose initials are in “RSA”.
  • Want to see a lot in one space? Check out The Sandbox. It’s a conference hub for hands-on interactive experiences and has been the start of several good conversations for me over the years.
  • Finally, check out some of the other “conference” guides for session ideas—on the RSA Conference blog or elsewhere.

2. Chart a course for the expo floor

The expo floor has continued to expand with the growth of the conference. While it’s not as big as some of the giant Las Vegas shows (but stop by the Illumio booth – #2900 – this year for a touch of Vegas lights), it definitely helps to have a plan when tackling the floor.

3. Network and socialize

  • Catch up with someone from out of town or a local you haven’t talked with recently. People come from all over the world for the RSA Conference. Look up a friend or colleague and get together. Walk the expo floor together and then grab a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee or catch a SOMA happy hour. Enjoy a nightcap at one of the vendor events or parties.
  • Find your peers. I’m active in the information security community, both here in the Bay Area and beyond. Groups like the ISSA (Silicon Valley chapter), CSA, and InfraGuard all have events going on during RSA. If you’re in ISSA or have an interest in it, RSVP and attend the international members meeting and reception on Tuesday, February 14th. (Full disclosure, I’m a past president of the ISSA Silicon Valley chapter.)
  • Finally, get out there and socialize. If you’re a customer contact for information security vendors, your inbox is probably filled with invites to parties. Make sure to RSVP, as some parties require a confirmed RSVP and have long lines. Securosis continues to have one of my favorite open events: the “Disaster Recovery Breakfast” on Thursday morning


I’ll see you there!

Drop me a line or tweet me @idjohn if you are attending. If this post was useful to you, stop by the Illumio booth and let the team know.

Attending RSA? Check out Illumio in the North Hall. 

Topics: Adaptive Security, Data Center Operations, Adaptive Segmentation

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