Hacking Your RSA Experience
Set your agenda and use RSA to advance your cyber security career
RSA is one of the largest cyber security conferences in the world, with more than 50,000 infosec professionals descending on San Francisco in late February. The agenda is overwhelming, whether this is your first trip or your tenth, with speakers, sessions, and topics covering a vast array of modern security subjects.
For that reason, it’s essential for everyone attending to formulate a plan before the conference starts. There’s just too much to see and too much to do, and the days can become hectic quickly if you haven’t created your own agenda beforehand. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can hack your way to a more productive and successful RSA.
Define your focus
The first question to ask yourself is, “why am I going to RSA?” The second is, “what do I want to get out of my time there?” Unlike your typical hacker con, RSA has a little bit for everyone in cyber security, including networking, pentesting, innovation sessions, and pitch opportunities for startups. There are also training and tutorial sessions designed for everyone from beginners to CISOs.
In the weeks leading up to RSA, define what a successful conference looks like for you. Maybe you want to network with new startups, learn more about advanced pentesting techniques, or brush up on your digital forensic techniques. Have a clear sense of how attending RSA can help you advance your cyber security career before you get there.
Create an Agenda
Whatever your goals, make sure you define them and plan your agenda around your needs beforehand. Check out RSA’s website for a complete agenda in advance of the conference and visit the eLearnSecurity booth while you’re there for advice on the sandboxes and keynote speakers that’ll ensure you get the most out of your RSA experience.
Mix the Practical with the Theoretical
One of the advantages of a conference like RSA is the broad spectrum of events, speakers and courses. Say you’re interested in analytics and incident response management. You have the opportunity to attend threat hunting, SOC analysis from industry experts, and other concrete courses designed to develop your professional skills. Keep in mind, though, courses often cost extra money. While many are worth attending, create a budget then decide exactly how you want to use your RSA money.
But RSA is also looking to the future with highly theoretical courses such as “Imagining a Civilized Internet.” Sessions like these are designed to challenge the way infosec professionals view the cyber security landscape and their position in the larger ecosystem. While they may not provide functional training, they can help you rethink the nature of cyber security and could provide a creative spark.
Find the Exhibitors You’re Interested In
The conference floor is filled with hundreds of cyber security companies. Many of these organizations can help you become a better infosec professional, but it is impossible to speak to everyone, even if you’re sprinting your way through the floor collecting all the swag you can.
To optimize your conference experience, visit the RSA website for a complete layout of vendors, decide who you’re interested in speaking to, and make a map of where everyone is. This way you’re not bouncing around opposite ends of the conference and wasting valuable time because you’re unsure where eLearnSecurity’s booth (North Expo, booth #4225) is in relation to Microsoft or a potential employer.
RSA is an excellent resource for security professionals looking to advance their careers or students who are interested in learning more about what an infosec job can offer. But tackling the four-day conferences successfully requires discipline and a game plan heading into the event. While you’re there, come visit the eLearnSecurity booth with our sister companies, INE and RMOTR. We can answer any questions you have about infosec training and guide you to the RSA sessions you’ll find valuable.
If you have any questions prior to RSA, reach out to eLearnSecurity today.