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07 6 2016

Forming future cyber security leaders

The International Cyber Security Summer School is back next month following its successful inauguration last year. The 2016 edition of this event will run from 21 to 26 August and is being supported by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, as well as Europol's European Cybercrime Centre and The Hague Security Delta.

In 2015, The Hague hosted the first edition of the International Cyber Security Summer School. The innovative course was established and delivered by the NCI Agency in cooperation with Europol and The Hague Security Delta. Taking place at The Hague Security Delta campus, the course helped prepare young professionals for the challenges of cyber security in international organizations.

Students were taught by specialists in the field of cyber security, including experts from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) Cyber Security Service Line and Service Strategy, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre. A carefully selected group of 40 postgraduate students and recent graduates from around the world partook in the exclusive three-day course. Young professionals from NATO, national defence forces and defence industries were among participants.


The summer school was part of a series of activities focusing on integrating the NCI Agency into the local IT security ecosystem and reaching out to external partners, and was funded by the Agency Innovation Programme.

Preparing for the future of cyber security

One of the reasons why the NCI Agency, Europol, The Hague Security Delta and The Hague City Council teamed up to organize the International Cyber Security Summer School is because young people are central to the future of cyber defence.

"The age of convicted cyber criminals and those causing cyber-attacks shows that it's the relatively young who have the technical skills to cause problems in cyberspace, and it's the same demographic who have the skills and the imagination to help solve them," said Michael Street, the NCI Agency's Innovation Manager.

Forming future cyber security leaders

Learning from real-world projects

Technology issues topped the course programme, and the legal and policy components that are relevant to cyber security in international environments were also highlighted.

Students gained practical knowledge by working on a group of projects related to the NCI Agency's scientific work. Project topics included threats posed by insecure USB keys, and technical and policy issues linked to biometric identification methods and active defence. Students also tested two innovative technologies for biometric authentication and secure mobile messaging, both developed under the Cyber Security Technology Incubator initiative, providing a large set of well-regulated test data for the developers of those technologies.

Building a community of cyber defence professionals

The 2015 summer school saw great success, with positive feedback from students and mentors alike. Students benefitted from the opportunity to learn directly from experts at NATO and Europol about what international organizations are doing to ensure that the cyber world is secure. Mentors enjoyed working with motivated young professionals and were inspired by their skills, imagination and potential.

The course also contributed to establishing a community of cyber defence professionals. "In particular, the school provided a stimulating environment for the exchange of ideas and initiating further collaboration between lecturers, coming from industry, academia, international organizations and national governments, and students," said Konrad Wrona, Principal Scientist, Cyber Security at the NCI Agency.

In addition, the summer school helped participants understand the role that NATO and Europol play in the world of cyber security, therefore potentially increasing the quantity and quality of applications to future recruitment campaigns.

For more information please visit: www.summerschoolcybersecurity.org