RSA Conference is a cryptography and information security-related conference. Its flagship event is held annually in San Francisco, California, United States. In 2013, events were also held in Singapore and Amsterdam.
RSA Conference started in 1991 as "Cryptography, Standards & Public Policy", a forum for cryptographers to gather and share the latest knowledge and advancements in the area of Internet security. In 1993 it became an annual event and was renamed the RSA Data Security Conference, then by 2000, simply, the 'RSA Conference'. The conference is vendor-independent and managed by RSA, the Security Division of EMC, with support from leaders in the information security industry. The multiple day event consists of two entities: the conference, which hosts speakers for a variety of topics, and a vendor expo. The conference consists of a multitude of presentations on the topic of Internet Security. Individuals may submit topic proposals to RSA Conference online, which are reviewed and selected to partake in the conference by an independent panel of judges that make up the Program Committee.
Finnish F-Secure researcher Mikko Hyppönen cancelled his planned speech at RSA Conference 2014 because of the "NSA backdoor" that was revealed in December 2013, and so have several others. The boycott of the conference, because of the company's NSA ties, is growing among security experts - although in the event only 12 speakers pulled out of the 2014 Conference out of a total of some 500.
The conference presentations are organized into themed “tracks,” each covering a specific field in information security. At the 2012 USA Conference, there were 17 tracks:
- Application security
- Association Special Topics
- Cloud security
- Data Security
- Risk & Compliance
- Hackers & Threats
- Hot Topics
- Industry Experts
- Mobile Security
- Policy & Government
- Professional Development
- Security Trends
- Sponsor Case Studies
- Strategy & Architecture
- Technology Infrastructure
This is a large increase in topics from the first European conference in 2000, which had only 5 tracks:
- Cryptographers’ Track
- Developers’ Track
- Implementers’ Track
- New Products Track
- RSA Products Track
The tracks cover different topics for their respective fields with the RSA Conference program committee selecting presentations for each track. During the conference, multiple tracks will run simultaneously, giving attendees the option of jumping from track to track to sit in on various presentations.
Since 1995, a theme has been chosen every year and predicated on a specific contribution or illustration related to information security. A story and design are developed and carried throughout the event.
- 2016: Connect to Protect
- 2015: Change: Challenge today's security thinking.
- 2014: Share. Learn. Secure. Capitalizing on Collective Intelligence.
- 2013: Security in Knowledge: Mastering data. Securing the world.
- 2012: The Great Cipher: Mightier than the Sword
- 2011: Alice and Bob
- 2010: The Rosetta Stone
- 2009: Edgar Allan Poe
- 2008: Alan Mathison Turing
- 2007: Leon Batista Alberti
- 2006: Modern Codes in Ancient Sutras
- 2005: Codes of Prohibition: Rumrunners and Elizebeth Friedman
- 2004: Chinese Remainder Theorem
- 2003: The Secrets of the Maya
- 2002: Mary, Queen of Scots
- 2001: Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
- 2000: Ancient Greece/Fall of Troy
- 1999: Norse/Viking Runestones
- 1998: The 16th Century monk Trithemius and his book Polygraphia
- 1997: Cher Ami, Carrier Pigeon
- 1996: WWII Navajo Codetalkers
- 1995: Egyptian Scarab Seals
RSA Conference originally started as an annual event held in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Since then, the need for Internet Security has increased, and RSA has added conferences in other countries. In 2000, RSA had its first European conference, held at the Hilton Munich Park Hotel in Munich, Germany from April 10–13. In 2002, Japan hosted its first RSA conference. In 2010, RSA expanded to China, hosting its first conference there from October 21–22 of that year.:
The expo at the conference allows for many companies involved in the network security field to showcase their products. Vendors gather in a designated area and set up booths to present and/or demo products and ideas they have been working on. Past expos have included companies such as Microsoft, Safenet, Barracuda Networks, ESET, McAfee, Verizon, Akamai Technologies, Websense, Intel, Cisco, and Hewlett-Packard.
With the widespread use of security and the necessity of information security, attendees hail from all different types of industries including Banking, Computer Software Development, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Pharmaceuticals. All levels of security professionals can be found in attendance, from C-Level executives to low level IT staff. Individuals above the age of 18 are allowed to purchase one of three passes: A full conference pass, a one-day pass, and an expo only pass. Regular attendees are allowed to be a part of the Members Circle program, which gives special perks such as discounted prices and priority seating.:
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- At least eight security experts boycott prominent security conference over NSA ties
- Growing number of security experts boycott RSA conference for NSA ties — RT USA
- More researchers join RSA conference boycott to protest $10 million NSA deal | Ars Technica
- Growing Boycott of RSA Conference 2014
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