Connect, Explore, Listen: Gartner Security And Risk Management Summit

By Anna Belak - MAY 23, 2024


I may be a little biased, but the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit is my favorite conference of the entire year. To me, it will always feel a little bit like home. To the rest of you, I hope it’s a fun learning and networking experience, and I’d like to offer a few tips, whether you’re a regular or this is your first time.

Go to the keynote

Gartner’s keynotes are designed by a team of its top tier analysts and carefully crafted to reflect the most relevant and interesting topics of the year. They’re also presented by Gartner’s best speakers, so even if the content is not your speed, the quality of public speaking will be absolutely excellent.

Get an analyst 1:1

They book up really quickly, but even if you missed your chance to catch your favorite analyst, get a meeting with ANY analyst. Their job is to think broadly and deeply about the industry, so they’re fun to talk to and can be a great sounding board. If you choose a sufficiently abstract topic, analysts not perfectly aligned to your specialty are more likely to accept the meeting. The on-site scheduling team is fantastic and will try to take care of you even if you were unable to book online ahead of time.

Get out of your comfort zone

The show, by design, includes content for different audiences because attendees include a mix of technical, leadership, and other roles. Attending talks that are not designed for your role can provide excellent perspective that makes you a lot more effective in your current job, or even helps you get that next promotion. Talks in the “Technical Insights” track are intended for security practitioners and are often quite technically rigorous. If you’re in a leadership role, checking one out might be a good reminder of the challenges and complexity your teams on the ground are facing. Cybersecurity Leadership talks are intended for CISOs and their staff, but as a practitioner, you can get a feel for how your management thinks and operates (or, at any rate, how Gartner thinks they should).


The people you meet and relationships you form might be the most valuable thing you can take away from the event. Whether you’re looking for a job, a mentor, or simply smart people to exchange ideas with, Gartner SRM tends to draw a great crowd from both the vendor and end-user side of things. Make sure to check out the end-user roundtables, workshops, and CISO circle, all of which disallow vendor presence on purpose. Then go to the vendor parties for the other half of the fun.

Check out the expo

If you’re actively shopping for a product, this is a great time to get a demo and ask some hard questions of the sales engineers. If you’re not shopping, it’s a good chance to get a look at how the vendor offerings are evolving overall and what this might mean for your organizations as you mature your security programs. Is there anything REALLY innovative in AI this year or is it still chatbots and fearmongering? Have we finally solved the cloud identity management problem? Is SIEM dead for real this time? And definitely come say “hi” to Sysdig in booth 426.

Must-see sessions 

Below is my short list of must-see sessions:

Unreasonably skilled public speakers:

5 Career Advancement Opportunities for Seasoned CISOs
Tuesday, June 04, 2024 / 02:00 PM – 02:30 PM EDT
Fadeen Davis, Sr Principal Analyst, Gartner

Outlook for Cyber Risk Management 2024
Wednesday, June 05, 2024 / 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM EDT
Deepti Gopal, Director Analyst, Gartner

Body Like a Rock: How to Win in Organization Politics With Integrity
Wednesday, June 05, 2024 / 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT
Leigh McMullen, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Most likely to be immensely entertaining:

Cloud Security 201 — The Cloud Security Cocktail
Monday, June 03, 2024 / 02:30 PM – 03:00 PM EDT
Charlie Winckless, VP Analyst, Gartner
Patrick Hevesi, VP Analyst, Gartner

Most likely to be super pragmatic:

How to Protect Your Cloud-Native Applications in Production
Tuesday, June 04, 2024 / 02:00 PM – 02:30 PM EDT
Dionisio Zumerle, VP Analyst, Gartner

If you only see one AI talk, see this one:

Cybersecurity Strategies for Generative AI Deployment
Tuesday, June 04, 2024 / 03:30 PM – 04:00 PM EDT
Mark Wah, VP Analyst, Gartner

If you’d like a view further into the future:
Emerging Technologies in Security and Risk Management, 2024
Monday, June 03, 2024 / 04:00 PM – 04:30 PM EDT
Neil MacDonald, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

And, of course, as a former Gartner for Technical Professionals analyst, I have to reiterate that anything in the Technical Insights track will be top- tier thought leadership with solid practical advice.

Hope to see you at the show!

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