M&E Daily

RSA Round-Up: Dell CEO Emphasizes Security Importance; AI Hyped, Scrutinized

At the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell made a surprise appearance Feb. 14, and made it clear to those attending: security is more important than ever to businesses in today’s digital world.

That’s according to a report from CRN, which quoted Dell as saying that security is often glossed over when companies make digital transitions.

“There is a real thirst for this digital transformation and we’re seeing it really begin across a wide variety of industries. Investment is following,” Dell said, according to CRN. “The digital transformation is real. But, from a technology sector, it has to be done securely.”

The news service made note that Dell acquired RSA last year, as part of its acquisition of EMC, and quoted Mark McKeever, principal of solution provider MicroAge, as saying it was a wise decision of Dell to appear at RSA, showing Dell’s confidence in conference.

“It’s part of the new federation, and people take notice. Partners take notice, and customers take notice when an influential person like that is taking interest, even if it’s just 15 minutes,” McKeever told CRN. “I’ve been to other conferences when a key person or CEO isn’t there, and people wonder what that means to us. RSA is a great brand, and [Dell] has dispelled any questions about its importance by showing up.”

Meanwhile, a report from “PC World” found two stories about artificial intelligence: it’s become a massively hyped part of the cybersecurity world, but it’s also technology that needs to be implemented slowly, according to RSA CTO Zulfikar Ramzan.

“I think [AI] moves the needle,” he said, according to the report. “The real open question to me is how much has that needle actually moved in practice? Now all of a sudden, we’re seeing this resurgence of people using ‘the how’ as a marketing push.”

Also at the conference, RSA president Rohit Ghai offered details of RSA’s new cybersecurity platform, according to a report from “Tech Target.” Machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science are all going to get more attention going forward, according to the report.

“We are in the fight of our digital lives, and the fight’s getting tougher,” Ghai said, according to the report. “The bad guys are getting really good, and there’s more of them, and we don’t have enough trained good guys in the industry to fight on our behalf. So, clearly, we need a technology assist.

“… For far too long, we have kind of been on the technology treadmill and thrown technology at the problem. But the reality is all the bad guys have access to the same technology that we do, so to win this fight, it’s going to take a new approach — something different. We have to play to our advantage, our strength. And I believe that our advantage is our knowledge, our understanding of our business context.”

And according to a report from “Government Technology,” a panel on drones and cybersecurity found an industry still finding its footing, with commercial drone operators still figuring out Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Law enforcement agencies are working with industry groups to help better understand what’s legal and what’s not, Erin Joe, section chief with the FBI, said, according to the report.

“Everybody is looking at their own authorities right now,” she said. “We are really trying to say, ‘What do we bring to the table?’”