The diversity of knowledge and technology required to keep us secure in the digital space is growing fast. The HSD Campus in The Hague was specifically established to accommodate and actively facilitate the collaborations required to keep up pace.
The HSD Campus offers dedicated office space and community services to the cybersecurity community. Furthermore, the Dutch cybersecurity cluster organisation HSD, which has its headquarters at the campus, plays an elemental role in tying the knots between different actors in the cybersecurity space. Public and private organisations and research and education institutes are facilitated by HSD to exchange knowledge, insights and forecasts, collaborate on projects and arrange the resources required to secure our future.
Although the HSD partner base stretches far beyond the campus, this location is the central meeting point of the cybersecurity community in the Netherlands, especially when involvement of both public and private organisations and/or research and education institutes is required. “A large majority of cybersecurity companies in The Hague are located here at the HSD Campus or in its near vicinity,” says Nabile Benali, campus manager at the HSD Campus. He continues:
Another force of attraction is the fact that The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and home to a variety of public security organisations such as the Dutch National Police, Netherlands Cyber Security Centre, the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and the Netherlands Forensics Institute. These domestic institutes are complemented by a number of international organisations such as Interpol, Europol and Nato’s Communication and Intelligence agency (NCIA) and cybersecurity-focused networking organisations such as the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE) and Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis (FS-ISAC).
The One Conference
Since 2012, October has been themed European Cybersecurity Month, during which awareness about cybersecurity for individuals and organisations is promoted. In the Netherlands, One Conference is a central event during this month, which attracts cybersecurity experts from around the world to discuss new developments and how to respond accurately. Speakers at the One conference include high-level politicians, cybersecurity advisers to governments, CEO’s of cybersecurity companies and influential researchers. Complementing the One Conference during cybersecurity month, are a variety of side events where more niche-subjects are discussed and new relationships are built.
A few examples of events that recently took place at the HSD Campus are the Hansken Hackathon and ECSO Cyber Investor days. The Hansken Hackathon was initiated by the Netherlands Forensics Institute and Leiden University of Applied sciences, and had participants from the National Police, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service and students and teachers from Leiden University of Applied Sciences. Several teams worked on use-cases such as ‘how to identify if an image has been edited’ and ‘how to quickly extract data from a cryptowallet’.
ECSO, the organizer of the ECSO investor days, is a EU-affiliated network organisation that contributes to Europe’s Digital Sovereignty & Strategic Autonomy and to strenghtens its cyber resilience. The investor days provide an EU-wide stage for cybersecurity startups, where they can pitch their businesses to investors and present their solutions to a large international audience. In 2022, the ECSO STARtup award ceremony also took place in The Hague. This competition allows EU-based cybersecurity SMEs and start-ups to pitch their ideas and meet experts and investors, and win a mentoring opportunity, as well as a one-year subscription to the CYBERSECURITY MADE IN EUROPE Label.
Building a community
In addition to the theme-based events, regular informal walk-in events bring the community together, where companies get to present their methods and technology, share recent highlights or informally catch up on new developments over some refreshments. These events offer the informal setting where relationships are built that grow into more substantive collaborations. Examples of partnerships that recently materialized at the HSD Campus are the partnership between security consultancy firm Shift Red and IAM implementation company Triple-id and a partnership between compliance software provider Isuna and cybersecurity software provider Enwere.
The former collaboration creates a one-stop shop for identity and access management, including implementation and consultancy. Triple-id offers hands-on capacity for implementation, while Shift Red brings its expertise in architectural knowledge according to best practices. This combination is a recipe for success, as customers can benefit from both the technical know-how of Triple-id and the strategic guidance of Shift Red.
The latter collaboration is aimed at providing integrated compliance and cybersecurity solutions where Isuna's compliancy software and Enwere's cybersecurity software together provide a more complete solution that addresses the needs of organizations in an increasingly complex and dynamic technology landscape.