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6 Trends Influencing Cybersecurity PR and Marketing Efforts for RSA Conference 2016

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No one in the IT security world will contest: we operate in a fast-paced industry. “The digital world moves fast, but… cybersecurity strategy does not move fast enough to keep up with threats,” says SearchSecurity Senior Reporter Michael Heller. CSOs and their security teams face a litany of “pressing issues” and the marketplace of solution providers continues to multiply promising all sorts of answers.

You might also enjoy reading, The Greatest Cybersecurity Threat That PR Agencies Face: Could It Be You?

These forces combined sure do pose a challenge – and an opportunity – for security marketers to cut through the noise and get their brands noticed. This is where understanding current buyer pain points and recognizing industry trends can help create an advantage.

In fact, trend spotting and “trend jacking” are core to our value as security PR practitioners. In particular, PAN’s Real-Time Newsroom acts as the eyes and ears for our infosec clients. This resource helps our clients get ahead of breaking industry news and trending topics.

Whether it’s Dyadic showcasing its deep insight related to encryption and key protection in the media, or Black Duck weighing in on a new Linux zero-day as an expert on open source security, these are just a few recent client examples of breaking news “rapid response” PR efforts in action.

With February fast upon us, we’re right there alongside our clients as we map the plan for making a splash at RSA Conference. Paired with crisp, clear messaging, we help our clients capitalize on – and drive – trending industry conversations as a cornerstone of our thought leadership programs.

Image from Perspecsys Photos used under CC license.

In the spirit of knowledge sharing, we’ve rounded up a list of six trends that will predictably influence the marketing efforts of this year’s crop of RSA Conference 2016 exhibitors:

1. The IT Sec Skills Gap

From Ken Rutsky, author, Viewpoint Marketing:

“There is a tremendous shortage of IT Security people in the US and globally.  The demand has simply outstripped the supply.  As my friends at Seculert have pointed out, there are over 300,000 unfilled IT Security jobs in the US today, and that number is projected to grow to 1.5 Million by 2020!  Hmmm, think you are going to hire your way out of your problems?”

2. Mobile applications and the IoT

From Thor Olavsrud, senior writer,

“Smartphones and other mobile devices are creating a prime target for malicious actors in the Internet of Things (IoT), [Steve] Durbin [managing director the Information Security Forum (ISF)] says.

The rapid uptake of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and the introduction of wearable technologies to the workplace, will increase an already high demand for mobile apps for work and home in the coming year.

To meet this increased demand, developers working under intense pressure and on razor-thin profit margins will sacrifice security and thorough testing in favor of speed of delivery and low cost, resulting in poor quality products more easily hijacked by criminals or hacktivists.”

3. Hacktivist and terrorist cyber attackers will grow in impact and visibility

From Jack Danahy, co-founder and CTO of Barkly, and contributing author to Xconomy:

The asymmetry and anonymity of cyber attacks will cause a rapid increase in protest- and politically oriented attacks in 2016. Ongoing conflict in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and political tension worldwide over immigration, global warming, and socioeconomic inequality will create opportunities and targets for message-driven attacks against both the online presence and infrastructure of organizations and governments.

Expect to see a groundswell of inconvenient and embarrassing disclosures, with some concentrated attempts to shut down systems or communication channels.”

4. Threat intelligence line items will start to appear in budgets

From Jason Polancich, founder and chief architect of SurfWatch Labs:

“We know that breaches and other security threats go undetected for months, even years. We also know that cybersecurity efforts have been poorly budgeted historically. Expect that to change in 2016. More organizations are realizing how tough it is to defend your organization if you don’t know what your specific risks are and you aren’t spending the money to build defenses and strategy.

We can expect to see more businesses adding threat intelligence as line items in their security budgets this coming year. And for those companies without the resources to field robust cyberdefense teams, threat intelligence will need to be more full service, less technical, higher level and, most of all, directly linked to business operations to allow a company to make use of it as an early warning system.”

5. Cloud Services

From Michelle Drolet, founder of Towerwall:

As more and more of the services we use reside in the cloud, IT departments can lose oversight and control. Employees are bypassing IT to snag the services they feel they need, and there’s a real danger that they’re bypassing security protocols and systems in the process. You should take steps to ensure that your IT department has full visibility.

Even approved cloud vendors must be scrutinized on an ongoing basis. Do you know where your data resides? Do your cloud service providers meet your security standards? If they aren’t in compliance, their failure to meet regulatory requirements could be something that you’re liable for. Don’t take it on trust, test your third-party vendors and verify for yourself.”

6. The Board Cares, of Course it Does

From Ken Rutsky, author, Viewpoint Marketing:

As Fidelis and Ponemon point out in the studies found here, and has been confirmed in countless other studies and reports, Boards care. The Target breach opened the eyes of boards, and the potential damage to brand, reputation and financial liability has more than gotten their attention, it’s now near the top of the list, and might be the biggest risk that any board needs to manage. This has changed the life of the CISO and his team dramatically, it’s increased both visibility, and often resources. If the CISO was asking for a “seat at the table”, he’s got it now.  Just how hot that seat is, it just depends…”

What other big cybersecurity trends for 2016 are you keeping an eye on? Let us know in the comments section.

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