IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

RSA 2024: AI’s Growing Influence Amplifies Global Cyber Impact

As another RSA Conference in San Francisco ended on May 10, 2024, the global impact that cybersecurity and artificial intelligence bring to every area of life has become much more apparent.

A large sign on the outside of a building that reads "RSA Conference 2024."
Dan Lohrmann
The RSA Conference (RSAC) was again held in San Francisco from May 6-9 with a 2024 theme of "The Art of Possible."

The show kicked-off with an entertaining celebrity presentation by Matthew Broderick. His opening story was on how the movie War Games grabbed President Ronald Reagan's attention in 1983 and that even led to conversations with the joint chiefs of staff — and also new policies on the nation's telecommunications and computer security.

Next up was Hugh Thompson, executive chairman of RSAC and program committee chair of the RSA Conference. He walked through the conference program highlights and focused on "The Power of Community," emphasizing that we can do more than we imagine as an industry when we work together.
A few of the other sessions that I really liked included:
  • "The Time Is Now: Redefining Security in the Age of AI" with Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration, Cisco
Some of Patel’s comments included: “Going from doing a little bit more with a little bit less to a state of abundance that becomes reality."

And also:

“The ability for us to augment capacity for humans will [grow exponentially] in scale and capacity."

What’s hard to do? Three new developments will help: AI, kernel-level visibility and hardware acceleration. Patel argues that AI must be used natively in your core infrastructure and not as a “bolt-on” to be able to compete with attackers in the future.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a keynote speech at the RSA Conference 2024
  • Securing AI: What We’ve Learned and What Comes Next — Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president, Microsoft Security Business: “We live in the most complex threat landscape in history”
There were many other great RSAC keynote sessions that you can watch at the RSAC channel on YouTube.


The power of stories and media coverage came across strongly in many RSA sessions this week. Here are a few of the notable examples, including new product announcements, new features to existing products and more:

SC Media: RSAC 2024: Attendees focus on AI, mobile, and threat telemetry

"With over 40,000 official attendees, and another estimated 40,000 people coming into San Francisco around RSAC but not attending the event, RSAC has attracted a large and inquisitive crowd. AI remains the hot topic of conversation. Most vendors have their own take on it and how it applies to their solution stack, while CISO’s and practitioners are coming to a better understanding of how they can use AI to accomplish their objectives."

CSO Magazine: Most interesting products to see at RSAC 2024

And in the middle of the RSA conference, this (bad publicity) story broke about Apple’s new advertisement:

CNBC: Apple apologizes for iPad Pro ad showing hydraulic press destroying guitars, piano


RSA CEO Rohit Ghai sitting at a table at the RSA Conference.
RSA CEO Rohit Ghai (right).
Dan Lohrmann
On a personal level, I found the 2024 RSA Conference to be more impactful and interesting than I expected. While I was at the Public Sector Day on Monday, a group of my Presidio colleagues and I had a great conversation with RSA CEO Rohit Ghai (see picture at left). These types of industry interactions and networking opportunities are truly remarkable.
There are also many opportunities to meet with top security leaders, including CISOs and CIOs from around the country, such as Michael Makstman, interim CIO and head of the Department of Technology for the city and county of San Francisco, who is also on the GT Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers list for 2024.
Michael Makstman with Dan Lohrmann at RSAC Public Sector Day 2024.
Michael Makstman with Dan Lohrmann at RSAC Public Sector Day 2024.
Dan Lohrmann
The conventional wisdom had been that the RSAC is on the decline and might even need to reinvent itself — and possibly leave San Francisco in the future. Big cyber companies like Palo Alto Networks and several others were not on the show floor. Nevertheless, the attendance and session content was top-notch and even head-turning in my opinion.

I was able to meet with global media on a variety of cybersecurity topics, and everyone wanted to discuss generative AI and AI's impact on cybersecurity in both cyber attack and defense areas.

I urge readers to take time to watch the RSAC 2024 keynotes at the YouTube links provided. As you do, you will see how AI and GenAI’s growing influence is amplifying global cyber impact in every area of life.
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.