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Coronavirus: The Unexpected Human Element at RSA Conference 2020


It was Sunday, February 23, 2020, and I was packing my bags for an early morning flight from Detroit to San Francisco for another week at an RSA Conference covering all things related to cybersecurity. The conference theme this year was “The Human Element,” which became an ironic choice of words.

While reading-up on the best sessions, pre-conference news and other hot cyber headlines, I noticed that several large companies had pulled out of the conference because of coronavirus fears.  

Here’s an excerpt from the Business Insider article that grabbed my attention: “Verizon pulled out of the RSA Conference on Friday, joining competitor AT&T and IBM as large sponsors with coronavirus concerns abandon the cybersecurity trade show that was expected to draw more than 40,000 to San Francisco next week. …”

The RSA Conference website offered this webpage with coronavirus updates; however, the information was sparse and seldom updated. No new updates were added after February 25, which started with this less than comforting news, “Today, the City of San Francisco declared a State of Emergency to begin preparations around any future coronavirus outbreaks. The City stated that residents and visitors remain at low risk for becoming infected with the coronavirus and that the number of cases within the City remains at zero. …”

My Delta flight was overbooked, and the airport seemed packed on Monday morning as I traversed through TSA security lines in Detroit. Several TSA officials wore face masks, and most of them were wearing plastic gloves, which I had not seen before.

Thankfully, my flight arrived early, and I was able to attend most of the RSA Public Sector Day at the San Francisco Hilton by Union Square. There was an excellent agenda of topics and federal, state and local government speakers on issues (Read more…)



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