Mingis on Tech: Lessons from RSA 2018

This year's RSA security conference focused on a variety of cybersecurity topics – everything from blockchain to the looming GDPR rules. CSO's Steve Ragan was there and offers insights on what mattered most at the show.

This year's RSA Conference in San Francisco had a lot of ground to cover. Cybersecurity, of course. Fending off ransomware attacks. Building security best practices into employee training.

But, according to CSO's Steve Ragan, the hottest topics at the 2018 conference were this month's looming GDPR deadline and blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. (In fact, the two are often part of the same conversation.)

Ragan, who attended RSA, spoke with Computerworld Executive Editor Ken Mingis about what he learned, with a special focus on the May 25 GDPR deadline and what companies are scrambling to do to protect their data.

GDPR stands for General Data protection Rule and is being rolled out in the European Union. But it also applies to U.;S. companies who do business in Europe, most of whom aren't yet ready for the new rules. That, said Ragan, is why the new rules were such a hot topic at RSA: companies aren't sure what data needs to be protected, or how best to do so, or even where that data is on their network.

Getting almost as much hype was blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that virtually everyone is experimenting with in an effort to see if it can streamline business practices and add a layer of security to corporate data.

But, as Ragan said he found, ask 50 people at RSA what blockchain is and you'll get 50 answers – or outright blank stares.

That said, he did offer practical advise for anyone going to RSA 2019: Skip the vendor briefings and bashes and network with your IT peers. They're as likely to have answers to your cybersecurity problems as anyone.

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