Dutch Women in Cyber Security (WiCS) : Melanie Rieback, Mary-Jo de Leeuw, Elsine van Os & Anouk Vos

On Saturday the 15th of October the fifth and final part of the five-fold interview series with Women in Cyber Security featured the portrayal of HSD partners and branch collegeaus. This portrait series featured five members of Women in Cyber Security (WiCS) who, in succession, appeared in the Financieel Dagblad. In the last feature of this series Anouk Vos, President of WiCS, strongly advocates for more independent professionals, as well as the role for women within the sector. "Men break this down, women build them up." Vos started with WiCS in 2013. "Independence becomes increasingly more important. In my eyes it is uncalled for to allow accountants who check the books to give advice on cyber security."


The Human Factor in Security

Elsine van Os is head of her company Signpost Six and the fourth woman featured in this series. "Signpost Six is a human-intelligence and psychological assessment company. An improved interpersonal intelligence will foster better quality intelligence gathering about individuals and/or groups and its potentials threats and opportunities. It provides for better decision-making and will result in better business deals or more legitimacy for your operations (and improved stakeholder engagement)." According to Van Os, who also worked at Shell as well as the Military Intelligence Service,  the 'human factor' behind online threats are almost always underexposed according to Van Os. Van Os specialises in profiling, she guides governmental organisation, police services and businesses in online and offline profiling of criminals, hackers and terrorists.


There is a lack of female role models

In the third part of the interview series HSD a.i Senior Projectleader Mary-Jo de Leeuw and co-founder of WiCS expressed her experiences as a woman in the cyber security world full with men. De Leeuw is concerned about our privacy when it comes to the rise in digital toys, cameras and interactive watches. With her platform Internet of Toys she rebels against these current security issues, as well as against the old boys network in the security field. De Leeuw is skilled in programming. "This makes it easy for me to talk about security issues, explain the technical elements and translate it to people who do not have that kind of knowledge but who are within the postion of decision-making. Most women in the (cyber) security field are kind of shy and/or withdrawn. There is a lack of female role models, this way we can warm more women up and break through the barriers we have now. Cybersecurity is a diverse field and we can really make it a change: think of forensic profiling, the detection of child abuse. Together we can create a better, safe and secure world."  


100% Transparency & A Radically Open Way

Week 2 of the portrait series of HSD partner's CEO Melanie Rieback of Radically Open Security talks about her company and how she wants to re-shape the world of cyber security. Her focus is on sharing knowledge and the benefit of this knowledge to our societies instead of a direct focus on money. Rieback started her company 2,5 years ago, and, like the company's name, everything they do is 'radically different'. Rieback and her hackers allow their customers in their chatrooms where they, step by step, can see how they work and what kind of tools they use. "Technologies and applications change constantly. Cyber criminals act really fast, use all kinds of tricks. To keep up with them the security officers have to stay in the game and share knowledge. When security officers and programmers of different kind of security levels and branches work together, we decrease the chances for hackers. But we need a more open way of thinking and a more open way of dealing with these kind of issues." Rieback has been programming since she was 7, got her PhD at the Vrije Universiteit on the security of Rifd-tags, the chips in the public transport cards. She worked until 2012 as a professor (universitair docent) in Computer Science but disliked the constant need for research proposals which were needed for her research funds. She also worked for Citrix Systems and as a member of the Cybercrime Incident Response team at ING.


In a previous item we featured HSD partner's Compumatica CEO Petra van Schayik. Read more about her here.




HSD Betrokken partners

Signpost Six BV