RSA Conference 2023 Debrief

Anil Markose Chief Strategy Officer
By: Anil Markose
Cyber Defense

Another exciting RSA conference just wrapped up! It was amazing to see so many security friends after 3 years. My last conference was in 2020 and how the times have changed. Here are my top five observations:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzz word of the year. It is being pitched in every product, and the opportunity for disruption is huge!

2. As always, there were a lot of investors in attendance, with available capital, but not chasing everything that smells like cyber. They communicated a very focused interest in companies with real vision and a track record for execution, with numbers to back it up. If you have a compelling service or solution, capital is there.

3. Microsoft has come out as a front-runner, introducing Co-Pilot, with insane potential. They seem to have truly re-invented themselves as a security company!

4. We are going to see a massive consolidation in the cybersecurity market. Small feature companies are getting bought and tucked in, investors are building ecosystems of loosely connected companies that can leverage each other (refer to NightDragonTeam8ForgePoint Capital, etc) …these ecosystems will drive 1+1 = 3 type opportunities for consolidation.

5. Cyber needs extreme simplification. There were so many vendors with slightly different pitches, and there is still a massive talent shortage in the market, so the learning curve and sustainability of security capability will be a big issue for the end customer. We could see customer outcomes get worse, even though product spend goes up.