Into the Web of RSA Conference

Cathy By Cathy

Well, what a week! I was lucky enough to be invited out to RSA Conference in San Francisco to support Bromium with its launch of a ground-breaking new study – Into the Web of Profit – a project which has been in the works for the past year and is finally being announced at the show.

American’s like to go big on everything, and conferences are no exception. There were rumoured to be around 50,000 delegates registered for RSAC, which is widely considered to the biggest cybersecurity expo in the world. You can imagine our delight, therefore, when our speaker submission was accepted – beating more than 2,000 applications from across the world. Why did our submission stand out? Well, as with everything at Spark, it was all down to quality of content. Over the past year we have worked with Bromium and leading criminologist, Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer at GCHQ-affiliated University of Surrey, to create something truly compelling and unique.

This was a focused brand-building exercise. We wanted to create a story that would drive interest in the wider media, to reach the ever-elusive C-suite and business audience, taking the programme beyond talking product to developing true thought leadership. The brief was to investigate where and how the proceeds of cybercrime are being channelled; to elevate the discussion beyond the usual narrative of data loss being harmful to company reputations, and to demonstrate the wider social harm of the industry’s inability to stem the tide. A tall order, but Dr. McGuire surpassed our expectations in the depth and truths he was able to unravel.

Over the past ten months Dr. McGuire has spoken to law enforcement from across the world, payments providers, even convicted cybercriminals. In doing so, he has exposed the underbelly of the cybercriminal world – from revenue generation, to the emergence of ‘platform criminality’, to money laundering, cybercriminal spending habits and earning. Most concerning was the discovery that cybercriminal profits are being reinvested into other areas of crime, such as terrorism, drug production and human trafficking.

With such a huge body of work, we realised fairly soon that we would never be able to do this work justice by simply putting out a press release at the show. Instead, we created a drum roll for the two months running up to the show, with short teaser announcements that helped to seed interest in the story. This meant that before the show had even begun we had already hit the news with coverage in the likes of Fox News, BBC News Online, Metro and The Register. We even had an inbound request for an interview from The Economist.

Beyond this, as Dr. McGuire was speaking to individuals from across the spectrum of law enforcement, government, financial services and cybersecurity, Bromium was having its name dropped at every available moment. This even resulted in inbound requests for private audiences with numerous government agencies and organisations to talk about the findings, giving Bromium direct exposure with the audience it wanted to reach.

But today is the launch at the show. There has already been lots of media interest, so I’ll report back on how it all went soon. In the meantime, if you are into cybersecurity then download a copy of Into the Web of Profit and get reading. Or if you ask us nicely we can send you a copy of the printed book!