As we prepare to jump into the craziness that is RSA, I was thinking about how the show has changed over the years. During the last decade and a half, it has become the must attend cybersecurity show of the year. Not necessarily because work gets done there, but because it provides a harbinger of what’s to come in the cybersecurity space. It provides a preview into what will dominate the landscape in the coming months.

Given the persistence of threats targeting our critical resources and ongoing operations, it has never been more important, or more difficult, to keep connected resources secure. Organizations are struggling to deploy layered security that effectively protects all the users, devices (IoT) and workloads they rely on to run their business. They are challenged to secure their increasingly dynamic mobile, software-defined and hyper-converged environments, and have a hard time effectively containing and responding to the attacks that are inevitably in their environment.

As a result, we see organizations looking to expand their capabilities and check any and all possible security boxes to hedge their bets (they are also taking out cyberattack insurance!) So, folks will be walking the floor of RSA trying to figure out what they need to fill the gaps in their security strategy. If you have been to the show, you know that’s easier said than done.

Each year the show seems to be bigger and more frenetic than the last. Walking up and down the aisles can leave you dizzy. There are so many companies, so many different technologies and so much confusion!  Everyone has the buzzwords plastered on their booth – it’s hard to tell who is doing what, never mind who is doing what you need. Figuring out which technology partner has the right channel strategy and where you should be investing your time and resources can seem overwhelming.

Some attendees will look to the sessions to try to pick up on trends and get practical insights. Others will make time for the keynotes, which often paint a general picture of the market and identify where big movements are taking place (though don’t expect Seth Meyers to add anything but much needed levity to the cybersecurity discussion). Media coverage is also a source of trend info, as organizations do roundups of the show (we’ve already seen some previews from Network World and Bank Info Security).

When it comes to making sense of the start-up landscape, some folks make a beeline to the Early Stage Expo, where show organizers try to lure visitors with craft beer tasting. Others focus on who makes up the ten finalists for the Innovation Sandbox to get a pulse on up and coming technologies – past winners include Sourcefire, Imperva, Altor, Appthority and Phantom (perhaps you have heard of them!).

This year, RSA is adding Learning Labs, which are more in-depth, interactive two-hour sessions covering 64 participants. We’ll have to see how these sessions work, but we, at Cloud Harmonics, do agree that one of the best ways to truly start to understand the capabilities of a solution is to get some hands on experience with it. That’s why we have invested in our unique vSandbox environment, which gives our channel partners an opportunity to evaluate, test and try technologies in a real-world environment, without having to invest in the resources or expertise to set up and manage the environment.  It’s also why we conduct Ultimate Test Drive (UTD) days that give partners and customers an immersive experience to build awareness and competencies around technologies they may be looking to deploy in their environment.

We all have finite time and resources, so it’s important to be able to identify the technologies that make the most sense to integrate into your portfolio and cybersecurity strategy.  Take the time to stop by the booth of technology vendors you are interested in and reach out to experts, who are looking at the whole market to help you identify holes in your cybersecurity strategy. Feel free to reach out to us at info@cloudharmonics.com – as a holistic distributor, specializing in next-generation cybersecurity, cloud and software-defined data center technologies, we are watching the market and building out the training and enablement tools and services that will help accelerate the adoption and onboarding of new technologies. Together with our technology partners and channel partners we are working towards building a secure digital world.