RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan 2017 takes place July 26-28 in Singapore, with additional pre-Conference offerings earlier in the week. As with the US, this year the Call for Speakers submission process netted a 30% increase in the number of submissions, creating a very challenging judging environment for our expert Program Committee. Several interesting trends emerged as the Program Committee looked at the submissions holistically as well as individually in curating the content programming, resulting in an agenda that promises to be the strongest yet for our delegates.
Leading off the analysis was the sharp increase in DevOps-oriented submissions. While in the US we have seen a steady increase in quantity of submissions focused on DevOps over the past few years, in terms of both culture and process (accompanied by a spike in attendance at sessions focused on DevOps offered at the US conference this year), interestingly DevOps and Agile didn’t even crack the top 150 words in last year’s Asia Pacific & Japan word cloud. This year nearly 6% of the submissions received centered on DevOps-oriented content, seemingly pivoting off of greater cloud adoption and a deeper pursuit of automation with agile grace. Several sessions across the agenda will deliver end-user perspectives and specific, actionable experiences for our attendees from DevOps trailblazers who have successfully incorporated a DevOps approach into their organizations, without sacrificing security. Additionally given the tremendous interest from our delegates in this topic, we have partnered with DevOps led by Alan Shimel, to bring to Singapore the highly successful DevOps Connect: DevSecOps Edition, providing a pre-Conference seminar of immersive DevOps focused content for attendees with any type of RSA Conference pass on Tuesday, July 25. Additionally, the experts from Sense of Security will offer a two-hour interactive Learning Lab for full Conference badge holders focused on Overcoming the Challenges of Automating Security in a DevOps Environment.
With ransomware continuing to wreak havoc on businesses in Asia Pacific & Japan, impacting their reputation, operations, and security, once again this year we experienced an increase in focused submissions on this topic. This surge has led us to curate a ransomware-focused seminar to offer pre-Conference in Singapore. In addition to sessions on the regular agenda, the seminar will blend perspectives from technologists, business leaders, legal experts and law enforcement as the epidemic of ransomware is explored through a local lens with local examples and experiences shared.
We also saw a marked increase in the number of submissions that focused on the Internet of Things as well as “smart” initiatives and technologies, which are driving more and more Things to connect—connections that will reach 50 billion by 2020 according to CompTIA. As with our experience evaluating submissions year-over-year in the US, we saw the APJ submissions further maturing in the depth of which the topic was explored and the specificity of examples and demonstrable experiences and lessons that can be shared. The trade-off being driven between safety, security and convenience by the Things—and the pursuit of all things smart!—was a theme in many of the submissions, with a shadow of a tangible, actionable roadmap for rationalizing the Things beginning to emerge.
Globally, the impact of far-reaching policy decisions such as GDPR, cybersecurity agendas being developed and advanced by governments, and how intelligence is shared by public and private organizations has been the focus of much conversation. About 8% of our submissions this year related to policy and regulatory-centric topics, leading us to develop a track focused on Policy, Government & Regulations, where global and regional discussions will place a lens on core topics and learnings that really highlight the far reaching impact of regulatory considerations. Organizations will share frameworks and roadmaps that they have successfully utilized in decision making processes, providing implementable guidance for attendees to utilize.
There was also a very interesting tone of sharing and best practice engagement communicated in the submissions this year, a distinct voice that showed the power of the cybersecurity community that is rapidly growing stronger in this region and the interest in deeper engagement. We were pleased with the large number of end user submissions and willingness to share experience “from the trenches.” Much like the push for and formalization around intelligence sharing between public and private entities, we perceived a deeper commitment and desire for true engagement amongst our speakers and the attendees as manifest in the proposals. Acting on this, we have developed a new format for engagement: Ask the Expert Roundtables. Select sessions across the agenda will feature a follow on, deeper dive facilitated conversation with the speaker, allowing attendees to probe into the topic with deeper questions and also engage with fellow attendees exploring topics related to the presentation in exchanges and discussions facilitated by the expert speaker. We know that this format will be incredibly valuable to our attendees in helping them to develop a deeper understanding of core topics as well as the opportunity to network more closely with fellow attendees with like interests.
The needs and experiences of the region are unique, but our community seeks the same goal – to join the brightest minds in education, private sector and government to discuss critical issues surrounding information security. We look forward to welcoming you to RSA Conference 2017 Asia Pacific & Japan and diving more deeply into these topics and many more.