I would like to build on Pradeep’s post about how the RSA show has changed through the years. Since its inception almost 20 years ago, the show has been growing exponentially – in both size, diversity and craziness! The one thing that has remained constant is that cybersecurity continues to morph, change and grow.

As I walked thru Moscone North and then through the tunnel to get to Moscone South, I kept thinking, “Who is buying all these different products?” and “How many new Security startups can the market cultivate?”

For every new product we know about, there are probably three more we don’t, backed by someone in the venture capital community that is looking to invest and profit from the cybersecurity opportunity (in a market that is estimated to grow from $122 Billion in 2016 to $202 billion by 2021).  There are so many needs and so many attack vectors to protect against, from the data center to the endpoint, from the cloud’s infrastructure to SAAS solutions, that the opportunity appears to be endless.

But think of this: Last year there were 547 vendors at the expo; this year, there were 707 vendors on the exhibitor list. How long can this kind of growth be sustained? I think, in reality, the answer is as long as there are security issues that still need to be resolved.

With the explosive growth of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) we are seeing even more targets to protect and more entry points to defend, not less. I think this makes it highly likely that we could see an additional 200 plus vendors in and around the show next year. That is unless we start to see the consolidation that has been predicted year after year.

We keep saying there will be a day of reckoning for cybersecurity, but unlike the Dot Bomb bubble of 2000 and the Great Recession from ’08 to ’12, I am not sure that day is on the horizon, just yet. So, what will force a change? What will create a contraction in the market? I think consolidation – of all the different security product market segments (DLP, UEBA, NGFW, CASB’s, etc.) – is the most likely scenario.

Why? When? The simple answer is consolidation will occur when consumption of cybersecurity products/solutions changes. Think about it – you used to rely on your Exchange Server. You would have thought people were crazy if they told you in three short years you would retire it and, in its place, order and use Microsoft Office from a Cloud-based subscription service. Now, however, you probably don’t think twice about your Office 365 Subscription, do you?

As more and more moves to the cloud, and consumption of products and services changes, we are going to see subsequent shifts in the cybersecurity market. However, this is not going to happen overnight, particularly given the serious security questions that need to be addressed with the cloud.

Vendors are going to need to come up with more holistic strategies that allow them to work well with others, so they can be a trusted provider that can consistently enforce policies and enact protections across environments. Organizations are going to need to be comfortable consuming a more dynamic defense-in-depth strategy that can morph to address the way attackers are targeting and compromising assets.

Interoperability and operational efficiency will become even more important in the new paradigm than they are now. We are already starting to see security vendors band together to fight the bad guys in a vendor-neutral, collaborative way.  As a matter of fact, at RSA 2017 the incorporation of the Cyber Threat Alliance and appointment of a President to lead it’s non-profit efforts was announced.  (You can read the release here: Cyber Threat Alliance RSA 2017.)

We are also going to need more investments in education and support tools and services to help everyone make the shift and stay up to speed on how best to architect, implement and optimize their cybersecurity infrastructure to better protect their operations and assets from the latest threats.

Selecting the right technologies and building the right trusted partnerships will be key to getting customers where they need to go. Along those lines, we, at Cloud Harmonics, with our holistic distribution model, are always here to help put the pieces together and facilitate the innovations and ecosystem that enable the maximum benefit from next-generation cybersecurity and cloud technologies.


Our guest blogger Seth Hammerman is a Senior Manager of  Security Sales for Cloud Harmonics. You can reach him at 408-710-9117 or via email seth@cloudharmonics.com.