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"In the triple helix, we work three times faster on cyber security"

"In the triple helix, we work three times faster on cyber security"

Dirk Jan van den Heuvel: "Organisations wait and see because clear standards are lacking. Better cooperation between government, science and business can solve this."

Gepubliceerd op 16 januari 2022

Connecting and helping parties with expertise in the field of cyber security in the Netherlands: that is what the cooperation platform dcypher will ensure. This is important, because digital crimes such as data leaks, hacks and DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent and more drastic. Dirk Jan van den Heuvel, director at cyber security company Secura, is one of the board members. "dcypher can take the lead in bringing science, business and government closer together."

Van den Heuvel is a pioneer in cyber security. "After my PhD in Physics, I learned the trade in the 1990s at KPN Research, after which I soon set up my own company in transaction security. We worked on the security of chips on debit cards, passports and public transport chip cards, among other things."

Insightful and measurable

In 2012, Van den Heuvel sold his company, stayed on for four more years and then switched to Secura, one of the leading cyber security companies in the Netherlands, focused on consulting, auditing, testing and certification. "It is a place where I can pioneer again and work on my personal mission. I want to make cyber security insightful and measurable."

Triple helix

Secura is a member of Cyberveilig Nederland, the interest group for cyber security companies. "On behalf of our industry we speak with one voice to activate the government," says Van den Heuvel. For this reason he himself joined the board of dcypher. "I like working with science and the government. Thanks to science we can really innovate in the field of cyber security. We need the government for guidance. If we manage to get everyone in this triple helix working in the same direction, we will be working three times faster on internet security."

Clear frameworks needed

According to Van den Heuvel, cyber security companies need more guidance from the government. "Clear standards are needed, for example. What are the generic and sector-specific frameworks for security that organisations must comply with? Once this is clear, these organisations will invest in them and they can hire cyber security firms for this purpose. Now you see that organisations wait and see, because there are no clear standards. Better cooperation between government, science and the business community could solve this. Because of the current, vague norms, administrators are also not held responsible if poor security causes their vital organisation, such as a hospital, to come to a standstill because of a hack. Ultimately, this applies to all non-vital, digital service providers on which society depends and to which we entrust privacy-sensitive data."

Lead by dcypher

"dcypher can take the lead in bringing science, business and government closer together," says Van den Heuvel. "How? By organising network meetings, providing knowledge exchange, initiating knowledge and innovation development and seeking connection to subsidy programmes. In this way, we can work together on cyber security. With dcypher, we can bind and entice companies and knowledge institutions to get started. And I would like to call on the government to take more control of cybersecurity."

Register and participate

Do you want to share knowledge from your organisation, company or educational institution, start a research project or contribute in another way to one of the cyber security communities? You can register by sending an e-mail to


This article was originally published at

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