RSAC Chairman urges collaboration to ensure collective defense in security

Hugh Thompson at RSA Conference 2024
(Image credit: RSAC)

Collective defense will play an essential role in advancing cyber security and the fight against current and future threats, according to Hugh Thompson, executive chairman of this year’s RSA Conference (RSAC) in San Francisco. 

In a keynote speech to delegates, he underscored how the unprecedented pace of technological advancements demands a united front among cyber security professionals.

By sharing threat intelligence, best practices, and innovative strategies, the global community can collectively bolster defenses against rapidly evolving cyber threats, he stressed. Thompson also urged attendees to embrace a culture of openness, collaboration, and shared responsibility, emphasizing that collective efforts are pivotal to safeguarding digital ecosystems in an interconnected world.

Thompson illustrated his points by invoking the metaphor of lighthouse keepers from his native Bahamas, who historically played a crucial role in navigating ships safely through treacherous waters. He drew a parallel between the vigilant duty of lighthouse keepers and the role of cyber security professionals today. 

"The way they thought about their job was a call, a mission," Thompson explained, highlighting the continuous and essential need to 'shine a light in dark places' - a philosophy he believes should guide the cyber security community.

Further expanding on the theme of collaboration and proactive defense, Thompson said that community was critical when it comes to tackling complex cyber security challenges. "Individuals may be smart, but as a community, we are wise," he said. 

This wisdom, he argued, comes from the collective experience and shared knowledge that empowers professionals to anticipate and mitigate emerging cyber threats more effectively.

In addition to fostering community engagement, Thompson stressed the importance of embracing new technologies and trends. He pointed out the significant rise in discussions and submissions around AI at the conference, demonstrating the cyber security community's intent to integrate AI into their strategies. 

"AI is everywhere. It's present in every single sub-discipline no matter where you go," he stated, in a nod to the community's eagerness to leverage new technologies to strengthen the collective security posture. 


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Stay ahead of evolving threats

Thompson's call to action was very clear - cyber security professionals can better protect and secure our digital world by coming together and harnessing collective intelligence and technological advancements.

"We are formidable as a community. It is important to remember that as you're doing your jobs every day. We have such a terrific community here, and this conference would not be possible without it,” he added. 

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.