Portfolio-holder The Hague: ‘We are the Secure Digital Gateway to Europe’

The Hague security

While the worldwide attack by the Wannacry ransomware is still fresh in our memory, the city of The Hague once again underlines the importance of internet security and privacy. The Hague, the City of Peace and Justice, is emphatically presenting itself as the Secure Digital Gateway to Europe. “These days you can no longer solve problems on your own, you must cooperate and innovate.”

The Judicial Capital already is exemplary regarding cooperation. No less than 260 partners collaborate in the so-called Hague Security Delta. The town is now also organising MoCo The Hague, during which three speakers will shine a light on the approach to privacy and security on the internet. The Hague portfolio-holder Saskia Bruines, “By organising events and meetings, I hope that people will acquire the knowledge which they can use in their own organisation, and I also hope that they meet other relevant people to cooperate with.”

‘We can no longer shy away from cyber security’

Bruines is portfolio-holder for the Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education, and she is responsible for the stimulation of the IT sector in The Hague as well as the The Hague Security Delta. As municipal portfolio-holder, Bruines is responsible for IT in the city offices. “We can no longer shy away from cyber security”, is Bruines’ point of view. “This is why we, as a city, are taking responsibility and ensuring that our own IT security is up to scratch. For instance, we have our own Security Operations Centre, all our IT employees receive internet safety training and we work with start-ups such as Cybersprint.” 

Impact, return and turnover

The city council even tries to ensure more knowledge, expertise and innovation regarding security and privacy outside the walls of the town hall. The The Hague Security Delta (HSD) was founded in 2013 with 11 partners, including the Ministry of Security and Justice, KPN, Fox-IT, the technical research institute TNO and the Technical University Delft. “By cooperating in this triple helix of business, government and knowledge institutions, we can ensure better solutions for complex security issues, explained the portfolio-holder. “These days you can no longer solve problems on your own, you must cooperate and innovate.” This not only has a societal impact but also an economic return: more turnover for the Netherlands Ltd and more jobs in The Hague.” 

Traditionally grown

The fact that this combines so well in The Hague is due to traditional growth factors. Because of the presence of the Europol European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3), the NATO Communication and Information Agency, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Defence Cyber Command and a strong private sector, The Hague is the ideal location for cyber security and the latest, most innovative solutions in the field. Scale-ups based in The Hague, like RedSocks Security, Public Sonar and TracksInspector, have solutions which can make the world safer, and therefore more beautiful.

MoCo The Hague

In its capacity as Secure Digital Gateway to Europe, the municipality of The Hague visits the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain every year. Employees came into contact with MoCo, CM’s mobile & tech community, which also has a stand there. The municipality decided to organise a MoCo The Hague, a meeting where the focus will be on security and privacy, and which offers answers to questions such as: How easily can hackers steal your data or your identity? What are the dangers for you and your organisation? What can you do to prevent this? And which innovative solutions are currently being developed by cyber security companies? 

Three speakers

The Hague has invited three speakers to MoCo The Hague, which will take place on 22 June at the HSD Campus. Maria Genova wrote the best-seller about identity theft, the title of which translates as ‘A H@cker went to the Doctor’ and is an inspirational speaker. She knows, as no other, how to clearly and concretely explain the risks and dangers of the digital world. Christiaan Solcer is CMO of StartPage, a privacy-secure search engine. StartPage is a member of the The Hague Security Delta. In order to work on their privacy-friendly email solution ‘Startmail’, they chose to establish themselves in the HSD. Finally, Rob van der Staaij, who, as lecturer Cybercrime and Cyber Security, as well as an employee of Innopay, can explain what organisations and individuals can do to protect themselves against cybercrime.

Peace and justice are inextricably linked to modern technology

Finally, The Hague, of course, is also the international city of Peace and Justice. Portfolio-holder Bruines recognises that the developments regarding this are linked more than ever to security and modern technology. Digitalisation, the use of big data and the cyber security linked to it are also essential for the humanitarian sector and the field of international justice. Issues regarding privacy, legislation and ethical discussions: peace, justice and security are therefore inextricably linked with each other. In this respect, The Hague wants to, and can, play a leading role.

MoCo The Hague will focus on privacy and online security, topical subjects touching every organisation and which – thinking back to the Wannacry attack in May – are becoming increasingly urgent. During MoCo The Hague, a number of experts will share their knowledge in the field of privacy and security. 

*) This article was brought to you by Erik Eggens, allround journalist, editor, content creator and copywriter and take a keen interest in mobile, finance and politics. After some years working as a local journalist for online media, I currently work for CM, a mobile messaging and payments company.Erik Eggens

 **) Featured Image: Alias 0591 (CC)

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