RSA Conference 2023 in San Francisco attracted over 40,000 attendees from the global cybersecurity community, including 650+ speakers, 500+ exhibitors and 500+ media members.
This year’s theme, “Stronger Together,” was prevalent throughout the four-day event, with sessions and speakers focused on the importance of coming together as a community to eliminate cyber threats. However, the unofficial theme of the conference was generative AI, with a long list of AI-focused talks on topics ranging from how to evaluate AI and machine learning in cybersecurity to achieving data security and analytics with AI.
While the overarching conference themes were insightful, as a PR professional, I was curious: What did those 500+ members of the media in attendance want to know?
During my time at RSAC 2023, I sat in on interviews with over 15 reporters — from Reuters, Axios, NBC News and Bloomberg — with beats ranging from the cybersecurity industry to crypto to antitrust. Through these interviews, I gained firsthand insight into the topics that are top of mind for journalists, what they want to cover and what they’re finding interesting.
If you’re a cybersecurity company looking to make a splash in the media, here are the key things journalists are thinking about and how you can prepare to engage with them.
What’s Going On With Ransomware?
If you haven’t noticed, there are many conflicting reports by cybersecurity experts about the state of ransomware — some claiming that ransomware is declining and others showing that ransomware remains the most pressing and pervasive threat facing companies. Reporters want to get to the bottom of it: What’s really going on with ransomware?
In conversations at RSA, ransomware was acknowledged as a continuous and serious threat. Regardless of your position, if you want to speak with reporters about ransomware, you’ll need data and research to back your arguments. You should also be prepared to dive deep into how your cybersecurity company is helping protect organizations against ransomware attacks.
In addition to ransomware, be prepared to discuss the evolution of cybercrime tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Reporters currently have their sights set on conversations around social engineering and info-stealing malware. How do you stop these? How are criminals using technology to advance their strategies in the execution of these attacks? What do the journalist’s readers — both consumers and business leaders — need to know?
AI, AI, AI
I called it the unofficial theme of the conference for a reason — there was no shortage of conversation among reporters about generative AI, ChatGPT and other AI topics at RSA. With companies like Google, Cisco, Abnormal Security and more announcing AI-related news at the event, it was clear that AI was a hot topic.
If you’re a cybersecurity company, here are just a few things you need to be prepared to discuss with the media when it comes to the intersection of AI and cybersecurity:
- How are you planning to use AI to fight cybercriminals? What’s unique about the way you’re using AI?
- Can cybersecurity companies use AI to fight the ongoing talent gap?
- Are cybercriminals using generative AI right now? Are they going to leverage it in the coming months, years? If so, how?
- Is AI voice cloning as big a threat as some in the media have claimed?
- Do there need to be regulatory guardrails around the advancement of emerging AI technologies?
While some may write off AI as the latest buzzword or hype, you need to have an opinion — backed with data — and be prepared to talk about how you think AI will advance the good guys, the bad guys or both.
National Cybersecurity Strategy
In March 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the National Cybersecurity Strategy — elevating cybersecurity as a critical component for both the economic well-being and national security of the nation. Since then, reporters have wanted to know how this strategy will play out in both the public and private sectors.
If you’re a cybersecurity company, be prepared to discuss your point of view on the future of the National Cybersecurity Strategy and the impact it may have on the cybersecurity industry. More specifically, how are companies identifying their vulnerabilities and risks? Is there a way they can do it easier? What measures are companies taking to address those risks and what are they not currently doing that they should be? Most importantly: Is this going to work?
The cybersecurity media landscape continues to evolve and we’re keeping a pulse on it all. Looking for more takeaways from RSA Conference 2023? Get in touch with our team of cybersecurity marketing experts.