A place for all things security.

RSA Conference 2014 recap

Mar 13, 2014 // Andrew Stroup

At the end of February, the CommonKey team headed to RSA Conference 2014 to rub elbows with other security nerds and talk shop about all things security.

The conference is one of the largest gatherings of security professionals from all sectors and industries. Separated into two main exhibit halls, the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco was packed with elaborate and gigantic displays and visuals. There were giants with mega displays like McAfee, Symantec, HP, and IBM and countless other companies who filled out the exhibit halls with free swag, booth babes, and demos of their products.  

Unfortunately, the underlying tone of the conference is very much focused on each of these vendors pushing their wares and landing that next customer or client. Although it was interesting to evaluate the landscape of security companies out there, intellectual stimulation was limited and diverted towards the next “big” widget your company could install to augment Active Directory.

However, that isn’t to say that it was all about nerd talk and the sales pitch. Sometimes the most work is done outside the conference at the parties and gatherings of security professionals looking for a more intimate setting to talk about security without the pressure of the sell.

We participated in some of the evening festivities to include BugCrowd‘s Happy Hour at Bun Mee, having the opportunity to chat with other security professionals in a more relaxed environment about the state of security, where things are heading and getting feedback on what we’re building at CommonKey.

Later that evening, we headed over to the Palo Alto Networks after party at Temple Night Club. The theme was “geek” where we were greeted with thick rimmed glasses and propeller beanie hats. Although a very male dominated atmosphere, people cut lose, gained some liquid courage, and hit the dance floor. Even the band was geek-themed, rocking out on stage with great covers. It felt like Revenge of the Nerds and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Although a very sales and marketing focused conference, there were still opportunities to have great conversations and dialogue with security professionals and find some diamonds in the rough who are serving as agents for change in the security industry like OpenDNS, who we think are doing great things with securing networks across the globe.

We look forward to future conferences later this year (BlackHat and DefCon) and seeing how the security landscape hopefully changes and diversifies for the good.