Welcome to the special RSA Conference edition of Top Conversations in Technology. In this analysis, we break down the rankings and trend lines for 33 security topics driving news and blog conversation over the past three-plus years, from January 2019 through May 2022. We look at which topics are leading, rising and falling to help technology marketers maximize relevance and adapt to changing market dynamics.
Leaderboard: Cybersecurity is not surprisingly the most used term overall, with over four million mentions since January 2019 – and its volume rose steadily in 2021 and even more so far in 2022. #2 Malware, #3 Ransomware and #4 Encryption registered over one million stories each, with each topic showing growth over the nearly three and half years analyzed. But while Ransomware peaked in 2021, Malware and Encryption are showing continued conversational growth into 2022, with 102% and 70% of the volume seen in 2021 already achieved by the end of May 2022. Data Breach rounds out the top 5, but notably peaked in 2019.
#6 Phishing showed a mention pause around 2020, but came back in play in 2021, and is well on pace to exceed its 2021 level this year. Ranks 7-10 are security sub-categories (Information Security, Data Security, Election Security and Network Security), all of which showed well over 250K mentions. For marketers, it’s worth noting that threat topics (ransomware, phishing, etc.) outperform product category topics (data security, network security, etc.) – a good reminder to use language that speaks to the issues and challenges customers face, not just product descriptors and trendy acronyms.
Gains & Losses: So much has changed in the world since 2019. New technologies are garnering increased media interest in a world plagued by ongoing threats in both the tangible and virtual worlds. Some of the topics with the biggest gains from 2019 are burgeoning technologies with exponential growth like Secure Access Service Edge/SASE (up more than 25x) and Extended Detection Response/XDR (up 15x). Others, like Supply Chain Security/Cybersecurity and Ransomware, have more than doubled tied to current events. This increased media interest in new technologies can be a double-edged sword – opening opportunities for some companies, while raising the bar for others.
Nearly all the security issues we track showed growth in conversation volume over the past three-plus years. In fact, only three of the 33 topics – #8 Election Security, #16 5G Security and #32 Adversary Detection Response – showed consistent year-over-year declines. Data Breach, Mobile Security and Network Security showed declines in 2021 versus 2019, but not compared to 2020. Infrastructure Security and Phishing were up from 2019, but both showed higher mention counts in 2020 than in 2021. Note that Phishing (#5 in 2021) has already hit 70% of its 2021 total in the first four months of 2022.
Conclusion: security discussions are almost as hot as a TV bought out of the back of a van.
Moving on: If all the topics are growing, how do you differentiate substance from noise? Solid question. It’s really a question of relevance – showing up to the market with ideas, insights and recommendations that go beyond talking about your product or service. More advisory, less spammy. Ask yourself, and be honest: Are you preaching to pitch product, or contributing to the conversation?
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.