May. 22, 2024

Top 3 Trends at RSA 2024

By Nadav Lev

This year's RSA Conference offered a unique perspective as I attended for the first time as an investor rather than a vendor. It was a whirlwind of insightful sessions and networking opportunities, including collaborative events with ICON and Battery, a joint cocktail event with several of our portfolio companies, and an intimate lunch with our Venture Advisors. From walking the vendor floor, to connecting with industry leaders and exchanging perspectives, here are the standout trends I noticed:

Open Modal

This year’s RSA theme was “The Art of Possible.” Across the floor and weaving in and out of conversations between cybersecurity founders, professionals and investors, you could sense how, despite continuing economic hesitation and geopolitical uncertainty, the industry is finding innovative ways to make this theme a reality. Unsurprisingly,  AI is poised to be the number one tool for this task. While during last year’s conference many security veterans considered AI to be just another buzzword, this year it has become clear that AI is only going to become more central to the day-to-day challenges of CISOs and security leaders across the market. Let’s take a look at this year’s top 3 trends (and only 2 of them are AI-focused!).


Security for GenAI

In 2023, Generative AI (GenAI) went from a curious trend to a dominant force. Early adopters were captivated by its ability to revolutionize productivity and personal experiences. While companies raced to establish safeguards for GenAI use, its adoption in external applications, internal projects, and everyday employee tasks skyrocketed. From a category that didn’t exist in 2022, last year we saw 7 new Israeli cybersecurity startups in this field – and if the RSA expo was any indication, we’ll be seeing many more in the next few years. Their main focus will inevitably be allowing the adoption of this technology without suffering security repercussions. While some vendors focus on securing the employee enterprise use of GenAI, others offer guardrails for securing their AI models. Several vendors at RSA, including YL Ventures’ own Aim Security, provide mitigation capabilities for all use cases with their comprehensive Security for GenAI platforms. Not on the RSA floor but dropping an announcement mid-conference was Palo Alto Networks, who launched new security solutions designed to protect enterprises from AI-generated threats, and to secure AI by design. We believe that we’ll be seeing less AI-centric feature startups and more comprehensive platforms as AI threats become more pervasive. 


AI for Security

With AI threats being addressed by the brightest cybersecurity innovators in the market, the buzz began focusing on leveraging AI to improve existing cybersecurity processes and methods. From SOC automation to vulnerability management to optimizing SDLC workflows, almost every booth on the RSA floor used AI as a selling point of their security product. Much like Security for AI, AI for Security isn’t just hype and does have merit. For most startups, it isn’t a game changer just yet as the use of AI in their tools is in its most nascent stages (some leveraging it mainly for marketing). For others, AI has a critical impact in improving the operational value of their products and enhancing their value proposition immensely. 


The Human Element

Despite a growing number of security tools and platforms mitigating a growing number of security threats, the modern business environment still has one, unrelenting problem that technology can’t yet solve and is the bane of every CISO’s existence – humans. This RSA, we saw rising interest in finding innovative ways to minimize human risk, especially when you couple it with AI technology. For now, existing solutions focus mainly on employee training programs for optimizing behavior and increasing awareness. Watch this space, as AI bolsters these tools and transforms our ability to mitigate human behavior. 


Until Next Time

It’s still too early to say if 2024 will usher in a revitalized cybersecurity market, or if we’re still on the mend after the highs and lows of the past 3 years. That being said, RSA continues to provide us with foreshadowing hints as to what the next year or two will look like, with CISOs adapting their budgets to evolving threats and vendors vying to dominate increasingly saturated sectors. Looking forward to RSA 2025!