The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continue to loom over the industry.
Photograph by Frederick Florin — AFP/Getty Images
By Robert Hackett
April 19, 2015

Tens of thousands of tech-industry veterans descend upon San Francisco’s Moscone Center from Apr. 20 to 24 for the RSA Conference, a weeklong dive into a world that’s equal parts mysterious, technical, and terrifying: cybersecurity. With corporate victims still top of mind—Home Depot (HD), J.P.Morgan (JPM), Sony (SNE)—executives are looking for answers. Let the paranoia begin.

Three participants to know

Bruce Schneier, Cryptogenius, left, Alec Baldwin, Actor and Alex Stamos, Chief Information Security Officer, Yahoo.
Photographs by Terry Robinson — Flickr; Noam Galai — Getty Images; Win McNamee — Getty Images

Alex Stamos, Chief Information Security Officer, Yahoo (YHOO)
An outspoken executive who’s not afraid to call “bull”

Bruce Schneier, Crytogenius
A privacy advocate riding a wave of interest in his new book, Data and Goliath

Alec Baldwin, Actor
Delivering a keynote on the intersection of celebrity and privacy

One quote to know

“This is not a technology problem, this is a mind-set problem.”
—RSA president Amit Yoran, in prepared remarks for his planned keynote at this year’s conference

One controversy to know

In 2013, reports revealing that RSA received $10 million from the National Security Agency to weaken its encryption products led several industry veterans to boycott the event in protest. (RSA confirmed the relationship but nothing more.)

Two numbers to know

$76.9 billion — Total information-security spend in 2015, as predicted by research firm Gartner

28,500 — Attendance of 2014 conference, making it the largest information-security confab in the world

Three 2015 conference session titles

Apr. 19 — “Metasploit Kung Fu”

Apr. 21 — “Escaping Security’s Dark Ages”

Apr. 21 — “Threat Intelligence Is Like Three-Day Potty Training”

Top targets for cyber-espionage


Source: Verizon

Four of our favorite RSA conference themes over the years:

1995 — Egyptian Scarab Seals

1999 — Norse/Viking Runes

2005 — Prohibition Rumrunners

2009 — Edgar Allan Poe

This article originated in the May 1, 2015 issue of Fortune magazine.


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