4 Things We Learned at RSA Conference 2018

Top trends from our conversations on the show floor and in meetings.


Last week marked my 11th RSA Conference, and, like previous years, the 2018 conference was an exciting and memorable week. We thoroughly enjoyed being able to hear from and chat with business, IT, and security professionals from diverse backgrounds on the cybersecurity challenges that keep them up at night. Our conversations covered a lot of ground, but there were a few topics that came up time and again.

Machine learning is everywhere…or is it?

Hands down, the most frequently asked question at our booth was, “What is different about Interset’s AI and machine learning, and how does it detect threats?”

Many vendors tout AI and machine learning, which understandably leaves conference attendees curious about how our approach is different from the vendor next door. There are different applications of AI and machine learning that are better suited for different use cases. In the world of cybersecurity, it’s important to match the right AI technique with the type of data you’re looking at. For example, supervised machine learning, which relies on labels to make sense of data, won’t be as effective on limited, labelless datasets. Unsupervised machine learning, on the other hand, can work without labels and adapt to an organization’s changing environment. This was a common theme of many conversations where the feedback was “No one else does that!” or “Why doesn’t the other system do it that way?”, or “That’s hard to do—impressive.” It’s easy to say that you do machine learning and AI, but actually making it work for real-world scenarios is another matter. Learn more about our approach to AI and machine learning.

We can’t all be data scientists.

Everyone wants a security solution that leverages AI and machine learning, but not everyone can practically seek out or afford the data science expertise traditionally needed to make these solutions meet their organizations’ specific needs. More often than not, vendors (especially in the security or user and entity behavioral analytics space) aren’t able to offer customers the ability to customize machine learning for their environments without coding or professional services. Interset understands that every layer of intervention required to customize machine learning means a delay in threat detection. This is exactly why we announced at RSA our upcoming Model Builder tool, which puts machine learning in the hands of security pros—no data science expertise required. Of course, if you are interested in speaking with a season data scientist to learn more, we’re happy to arrange that!

Existing security investments matter.  

It isn’t cheap to deploy enterprise technologies, and the last thing organizations want is to be told that they need to rip and replace expensive investments. A different approach is required. When you take a step back, you’ll see that most businesses today are managing a fragmented cybersecurity ecosystem where data is siloed across different systems. It’s a nightmare to keep under control, let alone derive full value from those systems. This is a conversation we have very often with prospective customers, and it’s been a key factor in our commitment to helping organizations augment and optimize their security ecosystem, instead of throwing it out.  

GDPR.

In about one month, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will officially be enforced. Among the many hot topics at RSA this year, GDPR was probably the one that weighed most heavily on exhibitors’ and attendees’ minds. This permeated into several discussions, and the most common concern was privacy by design which Interset has done from the very beginning. For example, not only was the Interset platform natively built on a big data architecture, it was also designed to operate on metadata, and all statistical models only require the minimum set of data for analysis and have support for GDPR-compliant pseudonymization and the right to be forgotten. For more information about how Interset supports GDPR, please contact us.

All in all, this year’s conference gave us important validation of what pain points or challenges organizations are facing and what their immediate priorities are. We look forward to continuing the conversation over the next few months, but if you’d like to speak to someone right away, please email us at securityai@interset.com.

If you weren’t able to catch us at RSA 2018 or want to learn more, check out our security analytics overview and keep an eye out for our upcoming events!

RSA 2018 Interset