RSA Conference 2024: AI Powered Security, Secure By Design and more..

RSA Conference 2024: AI Powered Security, Secure By Design and more..

rsa 2024

RSAC 2024 @Moscone Center in San Francisco

Last week the entire cybersecurity community gathered at the Moscone Center in the heart of San Francisco for the 2024 RSA Conference. It’s amazing to see the growth of this conference over the years. Ever since it was founded more than 30 years ago, the conference has grown every year with this year’s conference attracting around 40,000 attendees. This years theme for the conference was “The Art of Possible,” and the conference sessions covered a broad range of topics such as the future of cryptography, and the security challenges of emerging technologies but the overarching theme on the expo floor was unmistakable “Artificial Intelligence”! In this blog post, I will cover the key AI security related themes that I observed at the conference.

AI Security Themes

Data Security and Privacy: One of the primary challenges with AI is how it can compromise data security and privacy. AI systems require large datasets for training, which often include sensitive information. Ensuring the privacy and security of this data against breaches and unauthorized access is a major challenge. 

Manipulation and Misuse: The potential for AI to be manipulated or used maliciously was another area of concern. This includes the creation of deep fakes, automated hacking tools, and AI-driven disinformation campaigns. This requires AI systems to be designed with safeguards to detect and mitigate such misuse. Additionally, there is a need for emphasis on the ethical implications and the need for regulations to manage the development and deployment of AI technologies responsibly.

AI and Security Automation: The integration of AI into security systems will greatly enhance threat detection and response. However, the challenge lies in the potential for false positives and the evasion of AI-driven security measures by sophisticated cyber threats. Enhancing the reliability and accuracy of AI in security applications is crucial along with a focus on continuous learning and adaptation to evolving threat landscapes.

Adversarial AI Attacks: Adversarial attacks on AI systems, where attackers input deliberately misleading data to confuse the AI, could lead to incorrect outputs. Such a vulnerability can be particularly problematic in AI applications that involve facial recognition, spam detection, and fraud analysis. AI models need to be robust to protect against such attacks.

AI Governance and Guardrails: A significant emphasis was placed on governance and guardrails necessary for the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity. As the potential for AI to impact both positively and negatively becomes clearer, the need for robust AI governance frameworks is becoming more important. AI guardrails are not just about preventing misuse but also about fostering trust between technology providers and users.

We at Nirmata have been helping our clients with AI Governance and Guardrails. We have been working with the AI working group at CNCF to define core technologies. Check out the CNCF AI Landscape. In addition, we have been working with our customers and partners to deliver secure AI infrastructure as well as resource management for cost controls powered by the leading policy engine Kyverno.

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‘Secure By Design’

Besides AI security,  there were many other discussions around the effectiveness of existing security approaches for cloud native technologies. In fact, another effort to bolster cybersecurity was the CISA’s ‘Secure by Design’ pledge signed by over 60 companies. This initiative emphasized incorporating security from the design phase throughout the product lifecycle to reduce exploitable flaws. At Nirmata, we have embraced this from the very beginning and even shared how we ensure that the software we produce is secure. For our customers, we have also advocated the following approaches to further improve the security posture of their systems by incorporating security in various phases of software development. Some related themes we observed are:

Developer and Cloud-Native Security: A significant focus was placed on developer security within cloud-native platforms, specifically targeting the prevention of misconfigurations and enhancement of compliance. As developers are often responsible for cloud application and infrastructure deployment, the risk of misconfigurations—which can open doors to security breaches—is heightened. This requires security to be embedded in the entire software development tool chain – from IDE to developer platforms. This proactive approach not only prevents misconfigurations but also ensures that all cloud-based deployments are compliant with relevant industry regulations from the outset.

Prevention vs Detection & Response: There were a number of companies and discussions focussed on threat detection and response showcasing their solutions. While detection and response has certainly evolved and proven to be effective, adopting preventative measures can significantly improve the security posture by reducing the overall attack surface. An effective cybersecurity strategy requires a balanced focus on both prevention along with detection and response capabilities to address the dynamic and evolving nature of cyber threats. Platformization-just a Buzzword? While ‘one-stop-shop’ sounds great, savvy CIO’s and CISOs know better than to put all their eggs in one vendor’s basket. The Platform Engineering teams would like to control their own destiny by ensuring that they build a custom platform that is reconfigurable and suits their needs without vendor lock-in.

Code Pipeline Security: Several companies were targeting code pipeline security, reflecting the increasing importance of security in the software development lifecycle. The best practices for securing software supply chains include code scanning and signing and attestation of artifacts in the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. This requires automated tools to enforce security policies throughout the development process. There was also a focus on the benefits of “shifting security left,” meaning integrating security measures early in the development process to catch vulnerabilities and misconfigurations before they become embedded in the final product. This proactive approach is seen as essential for reducing the risk of security breaches and ensuring the integrity of software products.


As the RSA Conference came to an end, it is clear that experts in cybersecurity are committed to innovatively and ethically integrate AI into the core of cybersecurity. There is also growing awareness of the importance of empowering developers & platform engineers with the tools and practices necessary to maintain a secure and compliant cloud and AI environments, thus preventing misconfigurations and vulnerabilities and enhancing the overall security posture of organizations. It is time to empower IT with smart and easy-to-deploy solutions for prevention in addition to the existing detect, orchestrate, and remediate. It will be exciting to see what kind of innovative technologies and strategies will emerge over the next few years to secure our increasingly digital world!

Rapid Mitigation of CVE-2023-2878 with Kyverno and Nirmata Policy Manager
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