Day one of Rapid7’s UNITED Summit is almost over! We kicked off this morning with welcome remarks from CEO Corey Thomas (after a very, ahem, colorful performance by the Blue Man Group!), who spoke on the need to de-silo data and teams in the interest of driving innovation and solving big problems. He made a point of calling out the cybersecurity industry’s tendency to believe that security teams can be successful independently of IT—a shackle, as Corey put it, that holds us back, often unnecessarily.

One of Corey’s most powerful attributes as a speaker is the way he constantly evokes forward motion; at UNITED, he asked key questions for the security industry as a whole and for Rapid7 as a company: How can we harness our collective imagination to create a sense of optimism in our field and beyond? Are the organizational models of the past really serving us today? What areas of expertise will ensure our continued relevance and success in a changing world? Looking ahead with clarity and focus is a talent our CEO has in spades. We’re thrilled to be able to share Corey’s vision so intimately with our customers and the community!

Corey on optimism

We chose a formidable speaker and technologist as UNITED’s opening keynote: Nicholas Negroponte spoke eloquently on everything from the breakdown of barriers between the natural and manmade worlds to the need for innovation and the inevitability of change. UNITED’s thematic notes resonated in the MIT Media Lab co-founder’s words—we in technology are both witness and driver to the crumbling walls of old models and distinctions, whether those borders lie between nation-states or between IT and security teams. As we look to package and deliver information in new ways (a car from a seed!), it’s urgent that we ask whether we’re developing new approaches to big problems. “When I wake up in the morning, I ask myself a question,” Negroponte told the UNITED audience. “‘Will normal market forces do what I’m doing today?’ If the answer is yes, I stop. They don’t need me.”

Rapid7 Chief Product Officer Lee Weiner and Customer Success SVP Stephanie Furfaro offered smart, actionable answers to the morning’s big questions on the future of technology with a powerhouse presentation on customer-centered innovation. UNITED attendees got a close-up look at how the vision for Rapid7’s Insight platform informs and enhances individual product improvements—from fresh container security assessment functionality in InsightVM to uniting UBA and SIEM capabilities with InsightIDR. Much like Corey Thomas recognizes the pressing need for collaboration between IT and security teams, Lee and Stephanie put strong emphasis on synergy between product and customer success teams. As Stephanie said right off the bat, “Our customers are heroes….We want to be there when you need us.”

Customer-centered innovation at UNITED

A rousing round of applause for our three Rapid7 Customer Award winners marked the end of the morning presentations and the beginning of an afternoon that included talks on everything from automation and container security to the evolution of the CVE and cybersecurity for trade agreements. The Metasploit crew kicked off their exclusive UNITED CTF, Deral Heiland and Craig Smith led an IoT lab complete with hands-on demos, and a slew of different Rapid7 teams gave 1:1 expert consultations (at no cost!) for attendees.

No slides needed for IoT hacking

This afternoon we’ll host a series of industry roundtables so UNITED guests can share challenges and solutions with others in their industry.

Want to gear up for tomorrow? Plan your day with the full agenda, and if you’re extra motivated, get up early to join the UNITED running club for a 5K jogging tour of Boston! Not here in person? Follow the #R7UNITED hashtag on Twitter and take advantage of the UNITED live stream showing tomorrow’s fireside chat and Dan Geer’s closing keynote. Thanks to everyone who made the trip out to Boston to join us this week, and to those of you watching at home! You’re all our heroes.