RSA Conference is big, noisy, busy and exciting all at the same time. This year was no different. Below are some of my observations from the conference:

Cloud services adoption is hitting both IT professionals and traditional security vendors hard

It was obvious that there was lot more interest this year than last year in Cloud Security. Traditional perimeter-based vendors are working hard to either reposition their existing technology or build/acquire new technology to address cloud security. Startups (including my employer ManagedMethods) already realized this problem years ago when we started developing our solutions.

Perimeter security alone is not sufficient

With increased mobility, the question we frequently heard at the show was: what do we do for off-premise users? While people always looked for solutions for mobile employees and BYOD, there is a tacit acknowledgment that Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions have not worked as well as expected. 100% perimeter solution vendors are looking aggressively to address the issue of off-prem and Cloud services security.  I expect this to continue dominating the conversations in 2016 and beyond.

NextGen is making way for CloudGen

While affixing the label “NextGen ” on a product is a savvy marketing move, this trick has run its course. Many security products have called themselves NextGen and while this was accurate for a while, it appears like the newest term is “CloudGen.” There were already vendors positioning themselves as CloudGen at RSA, with large banners at the front of the entrance to exhibit calls calling it out. It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds. Is CloudGen truly different or is it just another marketing label?

Finally, my favorite trend at RSA…

2016 is the year of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB)

At a panel consisting mostly of other CASB vendors, panelists declared 2016 as the year of CASB. While it is a self-serving claim by CASB vendors, it is undeniable that the interest in CASB is the highest it has ever been. From a market perspective, CASB is becoming mainstream, with many organizations expressing an interest to adopt a CASB solution this year. I think the interest is real and is a sign of the maturing CASB solutions in the market. CASBs do challenge the status quo preferred by some traditional security vendors, but often, customer needs evolve faster than the ability of traditional vendors to evolve out of their current thinking and offer solutions for these critical emerging needs.

Overall it was a great conference and no complaints about the exceptional weather, food, and wine we enjoyed in San Francisco.