RSA: What is it like to attend a technical conference at the time of coronavirus epilepsy?

1641995335 RSA What is it like to attend a technical conference

San Francisco is the site of the RSA 2022 conference, which took place despite postponements from IBM, Verizon and AT&T.

As San Francisco declared a state of emergency and the federal government warned Americans that a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) would spread inside the U.S., RSA 2022 was still fighting at the Moscone Center.

The Mayor of San Francisco London Breed made an emergency test Tuesday to bolster the city's response to the virus.

"While things are not yet confirmed in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to prepare higher," Breed said in a statement. "We will see the virus spread in new parts. of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm. ”

SEE: Coronavirus has a major impact on technical industry beyond supply chain delays (PDF free) (Technology Republic)

The global death toll from COVID-19 disease is more than 2,700, and more than 80,000 cases have been diagnosed worldwide, on all continents except Antarctica.

Joan Pepin, chief security officer at Auth0, said she gave her staff the option to go home today after hearing the news from the mayor of San Francisco.

"Situations have changed since we arrived here and we will have discussions at a corporate level starting today," she said, adding that there was some discussion about the mayor's decision.

Auth0 builds identity management solutions for corporate customers and more than 60% of employees work remotely in 30 states and 40 countries.

SEE: Telecommuting policy (TechRepublic Premium)

On the first day of the security event, the organizers sent a message through the conference app, urging attendees to drop corners instead of shaking hands. Attendees seemed to be sticking to the traditional reception, even after this warning. They were packed into lounge-only sessions throughout the conference center, which was unexpected afterwards.
The conference was supported by AT&T, Verizon and IBM

in the days before the incident began on February 24, citing concerns about coronavirus. RSA runs through February 28th.

A security official at the conference said that he is using the stream's alternative saliva only to prevent seasonal flu or any other circulating virus. He added that there are always plenty of Purel hand sanitizers at RSA events, but they do not usually refill. That was not the case at this year's event, as conference attendees and vendors were quick to use the hand sanitizer with a focus on personal hygiene as well as security hygiene.

Image: Veronica Combs / TechRepublic

On Wednesday morning, new signs appeared with a list of suggestions: clean your hands with soap and water, do not rub your eyes, nose and mouth; If you feel unwell, visit our First Aid Office. During the day, Moscone Center staff frequently knocked down door handles with detergents.

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Michael Sentonas, the CTO at CrowdStrike, said he had not heard of Purel prior to this trip to San Francisco from his home in Sydney, Australia.

"I tried to buy some when I got here, but it sold out everywhere," he said, noting that the illness was not a factor in CrowdStrike's travel plans.

Casimir Wierzynski, chief executive of Intel's AI product group, and Liz Wu, Intel's artificial intelligence PR, said they had no concerns about attendance.

"The only way I wouldn't be here is if Liz told me not to come," said Wierzynski.

Wu said an RSA presence will not violate any of Intel's travel or event restrictions.

Millicom CISO John Masserini, and Matt Petrosky, vice president of mission knowledge at GreatHorn, both said the illness did not affect their decisions to attend RSA 2022.

"Of course, I'm disappointed with the pull - outs," said Masserini.

Dan Lowden, chief marketing officer of White Ops, said some big sellers out of the show did not impress most of the attendees.

"The show floor is full, I think people understand that they need to stay ahead of the curve in innovation," he said.

RSAC has not yet released conference attendance numbers, although the main meeting hall was full on Tuesday and there was a boring rope and a lot of foot traffic on the show floor.

Many people said their companies offered the option to stay at home, including Darren Thomas, senior product manager at McAfee, and Carol Geyer, chief development officer at OASIS, a non - profit standards group with an open source focus.

SEE: Manage Remote Workers: A Business Leader Guide (Free PDF) (Technology Republic)

Russ Mohr of MobileIron said his biggest concern was the postponement of the conference. "Verizon and AT&T are our big partners, so we were worried when they pulled out," he said.

Most conference attendees based in the US said the low risk of catching the virus was worth attending. Europeans had different risk calculations.

David Garfield, CEO and co - founder of Garrison, said his UK - based company is receiving daily updates on the spread of the virus. “We have a lot of colleagues in Singapore and a lot of them are confined to their flats,” he said.

Overall, with the exception of the abundance of hand washing stations, the conference did not feel much different than any other technical conference. There were plenty of people in attendance, only a few face masks were seen, and traveling through San Francisco International Airport was as strange as ever, but there were no delays due to its 'coronavirus.


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    The front of a store in San Francisco advertises N95 masks to protect against coronavirus exposure.

    Image: Veronica Combs / TechRepublic

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