Inaugural Session of the Indian Dutch Cyber Security School

October 5th 2020 - 15:06

On 1st October 2020, the Inaugural Session of the Indian Dutch Cyber Security School took place through Zoom Webinars.

More than 350 individuals from India and The Netherlands attended the session on Thursday’s afternoon. The moderator of the session was Mr. Michel Rademaker, Deputy Director at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.

The floor was firstly given to H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony, Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, who highlighted the acceleration of the digitalization of economies in every aspect of life and the importance of cybersecurity to protect digital activities. He closed his speech by reminding the potential of students and young professionals to meaningfully contribute to cybersecurity and business.

H.E. Mr. Marten van den Berg, The Netherlands Ambassador to India, in turn stressed the reliance of our economies on digital technologies in our society that enhances to productivity growth. He moved to clarify that in order to reap the benefits of cyberspace, we must first strive to make it safe from a technological, legal, ethical and policy point of view, as the rise of cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic showed in 2020.

After the Ambassadors’ speeches, a short icebreaking activity was introduced by Ms. Kalliopi Terzidou, research assistant at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, using Mentimeter. The findings showed that most of the participants come from India and are studying or working in technology. In addition, the majority of attendants is male in their Bachelor’s studies, followed by Master’s students, PhD candidates and young professionals. Finally, participants are mostly looking forward to enhance their knowledge during the Indian Dutch Cyber Security School.

Papa CJ, a well-known stand-up comedian, took up the floor and entertained the attendants with his jokes on the modern way of life and our dependence on digital technologies when it comes to social media, instant texting and day-to-day business.

Following Papa CJ, Ms. Meena Nagaraj C.N, IAS Managing Director-KITS (Startup Karnataka), highlighted the bilateral ties between India and The Netherlands in the technological sector and noted the State of Karnataka as one of the largest IT hubs in India and the highest start-up ecosystem in India, with the notable example of the Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity of Karnataka. She, also, referred to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Department of Electronics and IT of the State of Karnataka and the City of The Hague in 2016 and renewed in 2019.

Lastly, Mr. Karim Adarghal, Member of the Management Team at Economic Affairs at City of The Hague, The Netherlands, stated the severity of threats in cyberspace, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and the need of professionals to contribute to their prevention and restriction. He marked The Hague as the city of peace and justice and pointed to the importance of extending these principles to the digital environment.

In the end of the session, Ms. Kalliopi Terzidou explained the practicalities of the Indian Dutch Cyber Security School, including information on courses, challenges and more. Mr. Michel Rademaker renewed the session for Monday the 5th of October when lectures will commence.

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.