dcypher in London

February 27, 2019

Prof. dr. Bart Jacobs (professor of computer security from Nijmegen) and Jan Piet Barthel (director dcypher) visited London on 21 February. They were invited by the Dutch embassy in the United Kingdom and The Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI). The RI calls itself an "independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science". In the historic lecture hall of this renowned institution in the heart of London, lectures are regularly given by leading scientists on amazing science and its impact on our lives. The Dutch embassy who invites a speaker from various disciplines a few times a year, thought that cyber security should get attention and placed cybersecurity on the wish list and sought contact with dcypher. Bart Jacobs was invited to speak on Thursday evening 21 February about "Electronic Identities".

Dutch Embassy
Photo ltr: Jan Piet Barthel, Ambassador Simon Smits, Professor Bart Jacobs.

In order to optimally spend the day in London, the embassy put together a nice program. In the morning a meeting with Ambassador Simon Smits was planned. The ambassador underlined the importance of cybersecurity and cyber diplomacy. Bart talked about his research, and Jan Piet about the role and the meaning of dcypher and the NCSRA. Second program part was a conversation at Imperial College London with Professor Chris Hankin and a number of his staff members. Chris is closely involved with the Institute for Security Science and Technology. In the afternoon a visit was made to the National Cyber ​​Security Center. In the Netherlands we also have an NCSC, but both organisations are quite different. The UK version is closely linked to the British Intelligence Service. The NCSC links universities that excel in cybersecurity research by granting them a predicate "Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research" and to include them in a network. The NCSC was also involved in the creation of four research institutes, each doing a separate part of cybersecurity research: interdisciplinary research, research of  Industrial Control Systems, testing and verifying software reliability, and hardware encryption research.

Highlight of the day was of course the lecture by Bart Jacobs. Why is defending more difficult than attacking? In what kind of society do we want to live? Why is identity management of crucial importance? And how do states, governments, private sector and citizens relate to each other in this respect? For answers to all these questions, we have to be patient, the presentaton is videotaped in its entirety and is to be viewed on YouTube's RI channel.


The Dutch Innovation Attachés monitor the developments in technology and science from embassies and consulates in 18 countries. Cyber Security is high on the agenda in many of those countries, including Germany, Japan, the UK and the US.