A First Timer’s Guide to the RSA USA Conference: 2017 Edition

Each February, the security world comes together in the techiest city in the world for a packed week of seminars, keynotes, checking out the latest and greatest security technologies, and of course, lots of parties. If you’ve never been to the RSA Conference and are planning on going in just a few short weeks – you’re in for a wild ride!

The great thing about the RSA Conference is that there is so much going on that you can make your trip to San Fransisco whatever you want. The only problem is – you need to plan in order to make your RSA Conference visit all that you want it to be.  With so many different tracks and events going on simultaneously, you’ll quickly lose track of yourself if you don’t do at least a bit of planning beforehand.


So, in an effort to make sure you see all the cool stuff RSA has to offer while not getting burned out, here’s the Checkmarx Guide to the RSA Conference 2017! Don’t forget to stop by our booth in the South Hall: #S1027, where we’ll be talking about AppSec and giving away some awesome swag.


Our RSA Conference AppSec Picks for 2017

Whether it’s your first time or your fifteenth at the RSA Conference, settling on a schedule for the week can be a challenge in and of itself. RSA offers different sessions for their different tracks: Executive, Management, Technical, and Newcomer, and you can find those schedules here. But there are worthwhile talks in all tracks that are worth checking out. Here’s our list of the top 4 AppSec-themed sessions of each day of the conference. Clicking the link will take you to the sessions’ official RSA USA page, where you can read more about the session and register for your seat.


February 14th




February 15th








February 16th








February 17th








7 Tips to Make Your RSA USA 2017 Experience Awesome

  1. Reserve a seat for the events you really want to attend


A new feature in 2017 is the ability to reserve your seat for many of the conferences’ events and sessions. Take the time to reserve your seat for anything you don’t want to miss – because it’s hard to know which sessions will fill up before you get there.


Make sure to get to the sessions you’ve registered for early, too. If you don’t get there at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the session, your seat may be given away.


Learn how to reserve a seat here.


  1. Plan ahead – but don’t be afraid to bend your schedule

While it’s important to make sure you hit the talks and parties you really want to make, make sure to give yourself a little leeway to change it up a bit if you hear about something else interesting going on. Browse the tracks and pick out your top choices, but make sure to leave some open time for yourself to rest, grab something to eat, or roam the exhibition halls to fill your backpack with free stuff!


  1. Bring a backpack

Between datasheets, program flyers, and of course, all the free swag, you will not leave the conference empty handed, so bring something to carry it all in!  And, while we’re on the subject, skip using the RSA bags at the conference. Conference attendees will get a bag of swag at registration, which is great; however, lots of people use the bags during the conference, and all it takes is one accidental bag switch to turn a great conference into someone’s personal hell. Better to use your own bag and save the RSA bag for when you get back home.


  1. Make a list of security technologies and companies you want to check out, and write down their stand number


The Moscone Center is a beast of a building, and you can easily get lost in the huge exhibition halls where security companies from around the world come to showcase their solutions. Despite (or perhaps because of) its’ size, RSA is a great chance to have some face time with companies you’ve been intrigued by. Take the opportunity beforehand to map out the companies you’d like to speak with and maybe even write down the questions you’ve had about their products.


RSA is also a great time to try and meet your InfoSec heroes! Everyone from Bruce Schneier to Troy Hunt to Eric Schmidt (OK, not an InfoSec hero, but a hero nonetheless!) Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in conversation with the InfoSec elite.


  1. Test your InfoSec skills at RSAC’s Sandbox


The RSA Conference offers hands-on, interactive activities in their Sandbox on Wednesday and Thursday (February 15th and 16th). It’s a great way to learn about new technologies as well as growing threats and test your own preparedness.


The Sandbox, an event within the wider RSAC event, opens with a craft beer tasting, which may be enough to get some of you interested! Get the info on the CyBEER Ops event here, and find out more about the Sandbox here.


Bonus: Test your InfoSec skills year-round with our Game of Hacks!


  1. If you’re in the mood, check out some parties!


Each day at the RSA Conference is super packed, and you may find yourself crashing in your hotel room far earlier than expected. But if you do end up desiring a bit of nightlife, you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to check out this list of soirees to find what you’re looking for. The RSA Conference offers several party events of its’ own, and security companies join together to throw some epic parties in the InfoSec community!


  1. Lastly, but maybe most importantly – WEAR COMFY SHOES!


You may think your Italian shoes or six-inch heels will make a statement at the conference, but the only statement they’ll be making after a few hours of walking around Moscone is ‘MY POOR FEET’!! Do yourself a huge favor and wear shoes that won’t kill your feet. Especially if you’re looking to get away from Moscone for some San Francisco touring.


Have a safe RSA USA 2017, everyone – we look forward to seeing you there! South Hall, Booth #S1027.

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Sarah is in charge of social media and an editor and writer for the content team at Checkmarx. Her team sheds light on lesser-known AppSec issues and strives to launch content that will inspire, excite and teach security professionals about staying ahead of the hackers in an increasingly insecure world.

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