Time to step out of the shadows: cybersecurity in Belgium

29 July 2021

Technology is changing rapidly. Cybercrime is becoming more professional. And more nations are using ‘cyberattacks’ as a weapon. These are all reasons to join forces in the field of cyber security. For us, such cooperation is essential and that is why we are committed to working, among other things, in the Cyber Security Coalition (CSC). Kristof Tuyteleers, cybersecurity officer at DNS Belgium, explains.  

Kristof Tuyteleers, cybersecurity officer at DNS Belgium

Since when has DNS Belgium partnered with the Cybersecurity Coalition?

"We became a member of the Cyber Security Coalition (CSC) at the end of 2018. The organisation has been around for about six years. At its inception, it focused on bringing together the most important (and therefore the largest) parties from the public, private and academic sectors. As the Cyber Security Coalition began to grow, it opened up space and attention for smaller players: our opportunity to participate in this national initiative."

What moves the Cyber Security Coalition?

"An organisation like the Cyber Security Coalition is important because it works with unified forces to make companies and our society more cyber resilient. To achieve this, the CSC brings together all sorts of experts. Within this uniquely composed group, we exchange experiences and information. And of course, we share knowledge and best practices."

Is there an international counterpart to the Cyber Security Coalition?

I can't think of an international counterpart that does the exact same thing. There are many public-private initiatives around cyber security. Often these organisations work on a specific theme (such as phishing and malware , secure coding) or for a particular industry sector, for example: financial players or the aviation industry.

In the Netherlands you have the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). That is a central information hub where tactical and operational knowledge and expertise from the public and private sectors come together. But that is an independent government department."

How do we work together within the Cyber Security Coalition? What is the main reason for that collaboration?

"The CSC currently has 9 thematic working groups (the CSC uses the term "Focus Groups"). We participate actively in 4 of these focus groups. For a small organisation like DNS Belgium, these are excellent channels for gaining information and knowledge from experts in various fields. We at DNS Belgium also want to continually underline the importance of DNS security. We are the experts in that field. There is constant interaction, and that's what makes it so fascinating and instructive.

I am also a member of the programme committee for the Belgian Cyber Security Convention. This is an annual event that brings together the entire field of IT specialists in our country and provides exciting sessions on themes such as SME cybersecurity and the application of legal regulations (or 'compliance')." 

What added value does cooperation within the CSC bring for DNS Belgium?

"Working together always brings added value. You gain insights into other people's problems and learn from their approach. You take that knowledge back to your own company and use it to improve your own processes and systems. A company is not an island. You are connected via your suppliers and your customers at the very least. Securing that chain is becoming increasingly important and complex. That is where I see the greatest added value of working together within the Cyber Security Coalition."

How have you seen the Cyber Security Coalition evolve in recent years?

"The CSC is still in full expansion. More and more organisations are becoming members. And the number of working groups is also expanding.

I have the feeling that we will only really reach cruising speed after the pandemic. COVID-19 did cause us to shift back a bit and concentrate more on our own organisations, also in the field of security. So, in and of itself that is good news: I am convinced that most companies will emerge from this crisis more cyber-secure."

What should the Cyber Security Coalition focus on, in your opinion? What does the future look like? 

"In recent years there has been a flood of new laws and regulations around cybersecurity and privacy. Just think of the GDPR, NIS and CSA. The CSC must play an advisory role for policymakers in this regard. It is also the task of the CSC to raise awareness among members and companies outside the organisation about the impact of the new laws and regulations. It must create a framework that helps its members to continue to adapt and improve security policies and technological infrastructure in an efficient and qualitative manner."  

"In addition to the 'Coalition', we are also committed to cyber security on an international level. For example, we are members of CENTR and the ccNSO. The latter organisation is a branch within ICANN that unites all country extensions (such as .be, .fr, .nl, etc.) worldwide.

With this article, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.