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5 Key Insights from the 2019 RSA Conference

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Loopio was onsite at RSA Conference 2019, and over the course of the conference, and after many interesting conversations with attendees, there was one thing that became quite clear: cybersecurity vendors need to be more agile than ever when it comes to how they sell.

RSA Conference is one of the largest cybersecurity conferences in the world, bringing cybersecurity professionals from all over together to learn about  the latest in information security technology. More than 42,000 attendees from over 650 companies attended RSAC 2019, convening at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco to exhibit and learn more about innovations in the infosec space. One of the largest focal points of the event was  the Internet of things (IoT) and how to ensure that IoT devices and their networks are properly secured.

The Internet of things is changing information security

For those who don’t fully understand what IoT is (myself included), it’s essentially the interconnection of the Internet and computers with everyday devices. These devices are set to become incredibly ubiquitous. According to IoT market research/industry analyst firm IoT Analytics, the number of active IoT devices is expected to hit 10 billion by 2020 and grow to 22 billion by 2022.

Society has become increasingly reliant on these everyday items and they are prone to security breaches just like any other connected device. The cybersecurity industry—everyone from small start-ups up to huge enterprise players like Verizon and Intel—has recognized the need to ensure that these devices and the information they store is secure.

With that in mind, here are five key insights that we took away from RSAC 2019 and the many interesting conversations we had with people who dropped by the Loopio booth.

1. Competition is fierce in the cybersecurity industry

With an expected growth rate of 13.5% per year, the cybersecurity industry has a number of new entrants flowing in. Legacy companies are competing with a number of agile startups in an attempt to bring their services to market as quickly as possible and grow market share. That means there are a lot more vendors for cybersecurity companies to contend with when it comes to RFP responses in particular—as enterprises invest in services to improve their information security, and as their buyers look to de-risk their purchasing processes while getting the best bang for their buck, RFPs are becoming a more common staple in the cybersecurity procurement process.   

2. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly complex

Advancements in technology, such as the aforementioned expanded focus on IoT (the major theme at RSAC 2019), have presented new challenges in the security space. These advancements have led to more rigorous security requirements on the part of buyers, and that means vendors are now increasingly faced with the daunting task of having to develop new security measures while ensuring that internal compliance measures scale accurately.

3. SaaS-based security solutions are the new norm

SaaS solutions are the service of choice for many businesses and they’re continuing to grow in number and diversity at a rapid pace. Network security companies are thriving by expanding into cloud-based solutions as the need for infrastructure evolves and this has led to an increase in information security requests — as companies increasingly store customer data in the cloud, the security of that information becomes paramount and vendors need to be able to prove their ability to protect it .

4. There is a serious shortage of cybersecurity professionals

The rapid growth within the cybersecurity industry has created a massive need for cybersecurity professionals with nearly three million positions open worldwide. CNBC estimates that the lack of security professionals could cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars due to security breaches and damages. Among other things, the lack of people power means vendors have limited bandwidth for responding to an increasing volume of information security requests including security questionnaires. This is a challenge that vendors can overcome by making investments in automation-powered response platforms that can help reduce the heavy lifting that’s often involved in responding to questionnaires.

5. M&A has played a massive role in bringing technology to market faster

Recognizing the tremendous growth in the network security space, large players like Synopsys, VMware, and AT&T (who have more resources than most to compete for business) have been aggressively acquiring smaller information security companies and have dedicated huge portions of their workforce to developing software integrity solutions.

More feedback from RSAC 2019 attendees

Loopers at the 2019 RSA Conference

Attendees that dropped by Loopio’s booth told us that the challenges they experience when being evaluated as a vendor stem mostly from a rapidly evolving risk assessment process. Exhibitors often described turning away potential business simply because they did not have the bandwidth to respond in the proposal process. Capacity issues and the need to focus on higher value initiatives were common in our conversations.

For us, the most memorable moments at RSA were meeting our customers in person and hearing about the impact Loopio has had for their team. Thoughtful questions from our customers provoked conversation about how we can continue to innovate.

How is your team adapting their procedures to the changing security environment? Responding to security questionnaires has become an incredibly important part of the information security sales process. Check out our guide to learn how you can help you team respond faster and more efficiently.

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