Ten Reasons to Check Out San Francisco while at RSA

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Your definitive guide to de-compressing from the tradeshow chaos.

Exhibiting at and attending a tradeshow can be stressful. Packing, getting to your flight on time and finding your way in a “new” city are all trying. Not to mention, once you arrive at the show, the hours are long, the coordination is tedious, and all the coming and going from various conference rooms is tiresome—plus you are “always on.” We think you deserve a break! If you’re gearing up for the RSA 2019 Conference in San Francisco, CA this year March 4-8 at the Moscone Center, we’ve compiled the best stress-reducing, fun activities to do and see (after visiting with us at booth #6583, of course).

  1. RSAC After Hours Events: These events, hosted by the conference, offer Full Conference and Discover Pass holders the chance to hang out with industry peers and colleagues in a setting of their choice.
    • Tuesday, March 5th After Hours: Game Night at Moscone Level 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, March 6th After Hours: Whiskey & Wine Tasting at Marriott Marquis Golden Gate B&C from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, March 7th After Hours: Comedy Club at Moscone South Esplanade from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  1. Check out The View Lounge rooftop at the Marriott Marquis for some delicious cocktails and incomparable views of the city. Only a 6-minute walk from Moscone Center! It’s the perfect place to bring clients and partners, do some networking, or enjoy a little alone time at the end of a long day of networking and meetings.
  2. Head to the Ferry Building to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. The expansive marketplace inside is home to wine, coffee, food, and souvenirs. A great spot to grab some lunch or coffee and get out of the conference room.
  3. Yerba Buena Gardens is a beautiful place to reflect on the tradeshow experience thus far and find some peace after the busyness of the day. Serene waterfalls, sprawling lawns and gorgeous gardens are sure to help you unwind, and it’s right across the street from the conference. Beyond being a great place to relax, a sponsored game of Intro to Capture the Flag will be taking place in the park from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 7th. This is a women’s only game geared toward beginners. You will gain real-life hacking experience while collaborating, game playing, and enjoying coffee and bagels.
  4. If you’re looking for hot new restaurants to try, look no further than these gems near the tradeshow:
    • Ayala Restaurant – A seafood-centric haven in the bottom of Hotel G in Union Square (another great place to visit).
    • Z&Y Bistro – Ramen, hot pot, and skewers with minimal, upscale décor. This “baby brother” of Z&Y Restaurant is located just northwest from the original on Jackson Street.
    • Trailblazer Tavern – Located in the SalesForce East Building, unique Hawaiian comfort food abounds in a modern space. Open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner with an indoor dining room, bar, and heated patio.
  5. Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, just around the corner from Moscone. The inspiring art and calm atmosphere are just the ticket for hitting the re-set button. Here is a list of museums that offer free days around the city if you find yourself craving more artistic expression!
  6. If art isn’t your thing, or you’re on the hunt for a very authentic San Francisco experience, be sure to check out the Cable Car Museum. It’s a free museum in the Nob Hill neighborhood. It holds historical and explanatory exhibits on the San Francisco cable car system, which can be regarded as a working museum in and of itself. If you’d like to actually ride one, here is a list of routes, tickets, and schedules.
  7. After spending the day at the tradeshow, why not visit the Fortune Cookie Factory and see what the future holds for you? This little bakery offers free tours, delicious fortune cookie flavors and toppings, and makes over 10,000 cookies per day, by-hand, from scratch. You can also get custom fortunes made as a gift for your colleagues and newfound customers and partners!
  8. Looking for an amazing shopping experience in the city? The Westfield San Francisco Center has you covered. From top department stores to small, SF-based boutiques, you can get whatever you need here. There’s also a dining hall and many delicious restaurants if you have trouble deciding what to eat.
  9. Still unsure of how to spend your time away from the Circadence booth #6583? Check out this list of sponsored parties around town. Keep checking back as this list will continue to get updated!

We hope you find time to enjoy yourself this year at RSA. Kickstart your city adventures with some fun and be sure to visit the Circadence booth #6583 for more excitement. We would love to talk shop and hear what you’ve been able to do from our list!

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Guest Blog: Taking Cybersecurity Learning to a Whole New Level

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Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend Circadence’s Cyber Learning Tour at the Microsoft Technology Center in Chicago.  This event was hosted by Laura Lee, VP of Rapid Prototyping,  and one of the lead creators of the Project Ares training platform.

The opportunity to attend this event and hear from the brains behind Project Ares was an eye-opening experience for me.  The passion that Laura spoke with was something that I could relate to.  As someone who personally advocates for introducing more people to information technology and more specifically cybersecurity, it was amazing to hear Laura Lee talk about how she utilizes Project Ares in schools as early as middle school to educate students on not only the importance of cybersecurity but also real-world scenarios.  Hearing Laura talk about kids using Metasploit, Nmap, Wireshark and learning how to defend simulated cyber-attacks or infiltrating networks with Project Ares is taking learning to a whole new level.

One of the more interesting topics Laura brought up about the platform is the scoring capability and how it works within the learning environment.  She often finds students begin competing against each other on the platform by going through missions and assessments over and over again to see who can get the better score.  This brings another avenue of excitement and energy to cybersecurity that could lead to more exposure with things such as e-sports using Project Ares.

The fact that Circadence has created a learning environment that brings gamification, cybersecurity, and training to the same platform is ground-breaking to me.  Here is a platform that will simulate real-world scenarios like bank networks, power grids, and other enterprise networks and you either must attack (red team) or defend (blue team) using real-world skills and tools.  If you’re a rookie at cybersecurity, Project Ares offers a variety of battle rooms and assessments that will help get you up to speed.

To hear more about why gamification and AI-powered cyber learning is the future of cybersecurity skill building, check out one of their other Cyber Learning Tour stops here: https://marketing.circadence.com/acton/media/36273/cyber-learning-tour-with-microsoft.

Follow Zach’s YouTube Channel I.T. Career Questions for all things cybersecurity learning and development here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-Pwe2fODjH4Wuwf5VqE7A.

A Call to Diversify the Cybersecurity Workforce

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You’ve read about it, know it well, and can probably instantaneously identify one of today’s top cyber crises: the cybersecurity skills gap. It’s putting enterprises, governments and academic institutions at greater risk than ever because we don’t have enough professionals to mitigate, defend, and analyze incoming attacks and vulnerabilities. According to recent estimates, we are looking at the possibility of having as many as 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021. The widening career gap is due in part to the lack of diversity in the industry.

And we’re not just talking about racial and ethnic diversity, we’re also talking about diversity of perspective, experience and skill sets. A recent CSIS survey of IT decisionmakers across eight countries found that 82% of employees reported a shortage of cybersecurity skills and 71% of IT decisionmakers believe this talent gap causes direct damage to their organizations[1]. It’s not just the technical skills like computer coding and threat detection that are needed, employers often find today’s cyber graduates are lacking essential soft skills too, like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork capabilities[2].

An ISC2 study notes, organizations are unable to equip their existing cyber staff with the education and authority needed to develop and enhance their skill sets—leaving us even more deprived of the diversity we desperately need in the cybersecurity sector. The more unique thinking, problem-solving and community representation we have in the cybersecurity space, the better we can tackle the malicious hacker mindset from multiple angles in efforts to get ahead of threats. Forbes assents, “Combining diverse skills, perspectives and situations is necessary to meet effectively the multi-faceted, dynamic challenges of security.”

In an interview with Security Boulevard, Circadence’s Vice President of Global Partnerships Keenan Skelly notes that as cybersecurity tools and technology evolve, specifically AI and machine learning, a problem begins to reveal itself as it relates to lack of diversity:

“The problem is that if you don’t have a diverse group of people training the Artificial Intelligence, then you’re transferring unconscious biases into the AI,” Keenan said. “What we really have to do…is make sure the group of people you have building your AI is diverse enough to be able to recognize these biases and get them out of the AI engineering process,” she added.

The good news is that is it never too late to build a more diverse workforce. Even if your organization cannot hire more people from different career backgrounds or varying skill sets, existing cyber teams can be further developed as professionals too. With the right learning environments that are both relevant and challenging to their thinking, tactics and techniques, current employees can develop a more diverse set of cyber competencies; all while co-learning with diverse teams around the world.

Companies can also build relationships with local educational institutions to communicate critical workforce needs to better align talent pipeline with industry needs, recommends a new study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Likewise, cyber professionals can be guest speakers or lecturers in local cyber courses and classrooms to communicate the same diversification needs in the industry.

While some experts say it’s too late to try and diversify the workforce in thinking, skill, and background, we beg to differ. If we give up now in diversifying our workforce, our technology and tools will outpace our ability to use it effectively, efficiently, and innovatively. It’s not too late. It starts with an open mind and “take action” sense of conviction.

[1] CSIS, Hacking the Skills Shortage (Santa Clara, CA: McAfee, July 2016), https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/assets/reports/rp-hacking-skills-shortage.pdf. 

[2] Crumpler and Lewis, The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap, Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 2019.

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