This year’s RSA USA conference theme is ‘transform’ and it’s going to be a change to be attending a conference in real life, and in San Francisco, after the virtual conference last year.

There’s no doubt that the cybersecurity industry has changed dramatically in recent years. A simple look at the keynote speakers for this year’s event shows an industry which is engaging with a far wider community. Cybersecurity is playing an ever more central role in organizations and in the public sphere. It is finally playing a central and strategic role, not just being seen as a poor relation of general IT. Security can enable and support innovation whereas in the past it was too often wrongly seen as a barrier to change.

This year’s RSA keynotes show this wider view of cybersecurity as a collaborative effort which will improve the world for all of us but also requires us to work together. But they also show the increasing intersection between cyber and national security.

But then the threats we face are changing too. Ransomware is no longer just a theoretical business risk. It is on the front pages day after day with victims in all sectors. As we grow ever more connected new threats are emerging.

These fast-evolving threat landscapes require us to shift our response. To get on the front foot with hackers, we must re-think how we help our cyber teams to stay relevant and grow cyber resilience throughout an organization.

Certifications and point in time solutions can’t keep pace with attackers. To respond to fluid attacks requires defensive and offensive teams that have the cognitive agility to think fluidly and adapt fast.

“To get on the front foot with hackers, we must re-think how we help our cyber teams to stay relevant.”

At Immersive Labs, we run crisis simulation labs which are spun up as soon as real-world threats emerge. This develops teams’ confidence, adaptability, and teamwork as well as giving them up to date knowledge of the cutting-edge techniques used by hackers.

How our labs are used has shown us time and again how a diverse mix of thinkers enables regularly exercised teams to make the right decisions and improve their organizations’ resilience.

But our aim is to keep changing things. We want to provide access to skills for people who might run a mile from the classroom-based training and might not tick all the boxes on a typical cybersecurity recruitment form. We see cybersecurity as a rewarding potential career for many people who may have the right attributes, but not the right qualifications. We can test and demonstrate what those skills are and who in your organization has them already.

Improving Defenses: 2 Key Steps

We see two key steps to improve our collective defensive capability. First is the increasing understanding that successful security must put people at the center. The days of implementing frankly unusable security protocols are thankfully behind us.

At Immersive Labs we go further and aim to make your people a key part of your defenses. Developing the right skills, knowledge and judgement makes us all safer. Relying on certificates and past experience limits the talent you are bringing into the organization. This goes beyond just the skills shortage to providing a way to engage and interest staff in cybersecurity as a career they may not have previously imagined would have room for them.

And secondly it means transforming training into regular micro-drill exercising that is part of everyday working life. It means providing up-to-date and engaging tools that help people and teams develop the knowledge, skills and judgement they need to do their jobs. Teams need to experience simulations of real-life situations to hone the skills they will need in an actual crisis. And that needs to happen regularly, not just once a year.

But what I’m most looking forward to from this year’s RSA conference is how refreshing it will be meeting in real life again. Our is a truly collaborative community and we really need events like this to reinforce those bonds and connections. I hope to see you on the Expo floor – or having a craft ale at CyBEER Ops!


June 1, 2022




Pinal Desai

James Hadley, Founder & CEO, Immersive Labs

Cyber Resilience,
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