Cybersecurity / Events / Startups

Maryland cybersecurity companies head to San Francisco for RSA Conference

From events to exhibitions, here's a look at the various ways Maryland has a presence at the big event.

En|Veil founder Ellison Anne Williams (second from right) at RSA. (Photo via DataTribe/Twitter)

For Joel Benge, the RSA Conference presents a chance to talk about the “why.” Or, in this case, the “Y.”
Benge, who is based in Columbia, said the company where he serves as communications director that was founded as Emergent Network Defense will start rolling out a new brand at the massive San Francisco cybersecurity conference this week. The company, which makes a platform to help companies prioritize which cyber threats will be the biggest business risks, is now called Emergynt.
“We decided that we differ from most of the companies that will be at RSA because they spend most of their time talking about the tactical—“what, who, and how” incidents occur—while we’re helping our clients answer “why” it’s important,” Benge said.
The company will have six people at RSA, including new CTO Mark Clancy. It’s just one of a host of companies with Maryland ties that will be at the conference, which runs through Friday. There are so many representatives from the state that a post like this can’t name them all. But taken together, it’s clear that the conference offers a place for the state to show its cybersecurity prowess. And as reflected in conversations within the state, more startups and commercial-facing companies are becoming part of that delegation from an area long known for its government orientation.
Maryland will once again have a startup pitching in the Innovation Sandbox, which seeks to crown the “Most Innovative Startup.” ReFirm Labs, an IoT security company which recently entered Fulton-based cyber startup studio DataTribe, will be the fifth company to compete since 2014, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce. With Enveil’s entry last year, it’s the second straight entrant from DataTribe as it seeks to meld talent from government agencies with startup success.
And there are Maryland-centric events, like a breakfast the Department of Commerce is hosting on Tuesday. That’s a gathering point for companies like Columbia-based Bricata, which will have an exhibition booth for demos of its threat hunting technology as well as a role in sessions throughout the week.
For the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, government is part of the conversation, but it’s about the interaction on both sides of the wall. After all, it has Fort Meade within Anne Arundel County’s borders, which houses the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. A panel the AAEDC leaders helped to organize along with the Georgia Department of Economic Development is focused on how commercial cyber can have a role in national security. So Capt. Ed Devinney, who directs corporate partnerships and technology outreach at U.S. Cyber Command, will be on the panel alongside two-time founder and current Ring0 Technologies CIO Matt Daue.
“This is our unique way of not just growing the county’s brand, but branding this area as a cyber hub,” said AAEDC Vice President of Communications Rosa Cruz.


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