Industry news

RSA 2020 – The Human Element

by Justin McCoubry
Published on 11th Mar 2020
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The theme of the 2020 RSA Conference was 'The Human Element' - which we predict will be a commonly reoccurring topic for the industry over the course of this year and for years to come. It’s probably the most relevant concept that RSA could have selected, because humans are the biggest risk to every business, and the most complex variable to understand and protect.

Traditionally, the technology organisations have put in place to mitigate the 'insider threat' have failed to catch every (or even most!) data breaches – and that's because of the unpredictable behaviour of people: your employees, your supply network, your customers and those engaging with them. The people utilising your technology may not understand it or may work around it, or there may be scenarios where complex situations seem void of a technological solution.

The topic of the 'human element' really centres around how technology is used to try and minimise the risk that people, and their behaviours, bring to a business. And a few common talking points were apparent as we walked the show floor and spoke with attendees:

  • The focus on email security will make a resurgence. Why? Because as we look at the human element – the way our people communicate is primarily through email. With new innovations like contextual machine learning and AI, we can fill in the gaps left by traditional static encryption and DLP solutions.
  • There is a strong focus on technology with low-impact user experiences. Every single customer we spoke with said that if a solution does not offer a frictionless experience (i.e. it’s easy to understand and use) it will not be implemented.
  • The insider threat is the top risk on the radar for CISOs. The problem has always been there, but it’s been swept below the surface. Security leaders are realising they have very little data on actual incidents and breaches within their organisations because people do not self-report when they send sensitive information to the wrong recipient.

What a week!

With all the attention on the global health crisis (a bit of irony as we discuss 'the human element'), RSA still had its buzz and unique energy – almost a sense of solidarity as we battle the ‘human element’ in more ways than one. Discussions at the event were inevitably wide-ranging and covered a multitude of topics – but one thing was undeniably clear – with all the innovative technologies coming from across the globe, there is one factor that will remain a key risk factor for organisations – the people operate them.



If you want to carry on the conversation about any of these topics, or what we do at Egress, please get in touch here.