Mobile 360 Privacy & Security: Speech by Deputy Mayor Ingrid van Engelshoven

At the GSMA’s Mobile 360 Privacy & Security event, the Deputy Mayor of host city The Hague took part in our opening keynote, May 10, to set the context for the event. This is what she told us:

My name is Ingrid van Engelshoven.

As the Deputy Mayor of The Hague I am responsible for the Knowledge Economy, International Affairs, Youth and Education.

That includes the development of the IT/Tech sector, Security cluster, and Smart City program in our city

The next two days are a great occasion on which to share ideas and knowledge about mobile, security & privacy.

This first Mobile 360 conference in our city, will be completely dedicated to Privacy and Security within mobile and digital enterprises. We look forward having two great days of in depth discussions.

Not just because it matches our city DNA perfectly as the international meeting place for Peace, Justice and Security and the Dutch telecom sector.

No; we are also looking forward to it because the urgency is high.

Only by taking the right measures now, we can ensure that technology will remain the motor for innovation in the future. This is greatly needed to combat the many challenges that we are facing now and will face in the near future.

I am from The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, which is the fifth most competitive country in the world.

We are the International City of Peace and Justice and are proud of the many international organisations that call The Hague their home. These include: the UN International Court of Justice; International Criminal Court; Europol; NATO; and Nobel Peace Prize winner OPCW.

We have strong economic clusters of Security, Telecom, Finance, Legal and Energy.

But also – like many other cities – we face societal challenges.

However, with a long history in the field of international peace, justice, security and governance, we constantly work together to build a better world. One that we see rapidly changing.

Digitalisation is penetrating to the very core of our society. The future is increasingly digital and continuously connected. Intelligent use of ICT, social media and data has become of strategic importance in more or less every organisation.

This also applies to the city as a whole, in which complex metropolitan issues require answering.

This in a time where “more with less” is the motto and increasingly more people are moving to the cities.

Metropolitan challenges that we face are for instance:

  • How do we counter a declining employment rate?
  • How do we build a skilled and highly educated workforce?
  • How do we make our city ‘green and healthy’ and solve environmental and energy challenges in a holistic manner by taking into account that how we live, work and move all interact?
  • And how do we balance a high quality of healthcare with healthcare spending in a city with an increasing elderly population?

Through digitalisation, we gain more and better information and as a result more possibilities to solve such problems, understand how systems in the city interact and how we can make them smarter. This allows us to improve the quality of life, accessibility, the climate in which businesses can be established, the affordability and quality of care, and to offer education that is future proof.

As the municipality of The Hague, we are working on innovation in the programme Smart The Hague.We are doing this in collaboration with knowledge institutions, businesses, government authorities and citizens.

Together we are realising innovative pilots and projects.But also go into dialogue about the governance and regulation and how we jointly take responsibility and ownership. Moreover, we are providing training and courses to encourage everyone to participate. For instance, there are meetings where people can exchange their experience and stories (ICT cafes and innovation labs).

We are building our services on the digital infrastructure of our city. By, for instance, investing in open WiFi and fibre. We are making municipal data publicly accessible and are improving the digital services for citizens and businesses. At the same time while we are building our services on the digital infrastructure we take into account for instance secure access & authentication and data protection.

A good functioning digital infrastructure also plays a major role in facilitating the development of internet of things. The Internet of Things needs a strong backbone for the many billions of connected devices and apps.  The web of connected devices, people and data will provide business opportunities to many sectors. IoT will offer opportunities for companies which are manufacturing IoT goods, and also for those organizations which are providing services related to IoT. According to industry estimates, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications alone will generate approximately US$900 billion in revenues by 2020.

All of the technology that makes this and so much more possible offers enormous opportunities.

I assume we all agree on this.

But at the same time, it also offers major challenges in the field of Privacy and Security.

IoT for example offers many opportunities, but while the IoT is entering daily life more and more, security risks pertaining to IoT are growing and are changing rapidly. In today’s world of “always on” technology and not enough security awareness on the part of users, cyberattacks are no longer a matter of “if” but “when.”

After all, we should not just be smart, we should also be secure and safeguard the privacy of our citizens.

  • A self-driving car is fantastic, until it is taken over by someone unknown in the middle of the motorway.
  • Mobile transactions have become increasingly easy. You can complete them with a single click, wherever you are.

However, the impact of identity fraud resulting from stolen login details can – to say the least – be extremely inconvenient.

Which is a clear example of the way that security and privacy are intrinsically intertwined with each other.

Not only is our personal living environment very sensitive to digital attacks.

Cyber security no longer only impacts a small section of our society. All of society must take it into account.

This is because in a city – in a country, the systems, infrastructure and industries are increasingly technologically connected and equipped.

This makes them by definition vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the consequences of such an attack can be extremely far reaching.

This applies to our telecom infrastructure, but also to smart energy grids, public transport, financial service provision and so on.

  • In the event of a ‘total blackout’, hospitals, for instance, switch to emergency generators, but what to do when their fuel tanks run dry?
  • Or take the serious DDos attacks that confronted Ziggo, the largest cable operator of the Netherlands, in the autumn of 2015. Hacking by just five people, four of whom were underage, resulted in millions of people not having access to the internet for two days.


The fact that this could happen means that we all have to take measures and have to work very consciously to increase digital resilience. These two days during this congress will help us make a start and will also provide us with good perspectives on how to become better in control of our risks.

All starts with ensuring that your own IT systems are in order and are secured by the latest cyber security innovations. This is what we do:

  • The municipality’s network is constantly monitored and for ‘emergency and incident response’ we enjoy 24/7 support from one of the most prominent cyber security companies in the Netherlands (Fox-IT).
  • We are also working with the ‘ethical hackers’ of HackerOne and with the Netherlands-based start-up Cybersprint on the security of our websites.


However, security is not just about technology, at the end of the day it’s about people. Anyone can accidentally make a mistake, sometimes even without knowing it. And there are always people trying to take advantage of this.To prevent this happening, all of our 500 IT employees follow a complete cyber security training programme.

However, a city government cannot do it alone. As I said before: the city is increasingly connected. Therefore we must:

  • Cooperate more effectively with companies, government authorities and knowledge institutions. This cooperation should focus on the development of innovation;
  • Develop test facilities for the hardware and software that are used in critical infrastructure (including telecom).
  • Offer sufficient and effective training and educational programmes for talented people and professionals who work with the infrastructure every day: lifelong learning. As we do with the professional master of the Cyber Security Academy and the Cyber Centre of Expertise of the Hague University of applied science ;
  • And work on increasing the attention and knowledge of the wider public: not just their ‘awareness’, but in particular also their ‘understanding’. As we do today and tomorrow.


We are doing this. In 2013 together with 11 triple helix partners we founded The Hague Security Delta (HSD). It has now – with more than 220 public and private partners – become the largest security cluster in Europe. Partners including companies such as Siemens, KPN, Nokia and Huawei, knowledge institutions as TNO and the Technical University of Delft and governments (V&J, National Police). Within this Dutch security cluster they cooperate to create innovations in the field of security and in the development of:

  • talented people and education;
  • capital and financing opportunities;
  • market access, demand articulation and open innovation.

A large proportion of this work is done on the HSD campus, the national innovation centre for security in The Hague. This campus attracted over forty organisations in just two years. These include:

  • The National Police
  • The Tax Authority
  • Multinationals such as Thales
  • and ‘disruptive start-ups’ like HackerOne and Onegini.

All of them form part of a strong national security ecosystem: In The Hague region alone about 400 security businesses realise more than 25% of the national turnover in security and employ 13,800 people. Nationwide there is a turnover of 6 billion euros and 59,000 people are employed in the security domain.

And we are expecting further growth in the coming years. To achieve this, we are making the required investments and targeting our efforts.

In recent years, The Hague has developed into the Cyber Security Capital of Europe.The cyber security departments of Europol, NATO and the Dutch Ministries of Defence and Security & Justice are found here. And last year the Global Conference on Cyber Space was held in The Hague.

Even so, there is – in response to the ever increasing digitalisation, connectivity and smart city development – demand for increased capacity. In particular with respect to the protection of critical infrastructure.

We are therefore investigating the feasibility of a National Cyber Testbed ( of National Cyber Test Centre) for Critical Infrastructures in The Hague.

We are identifying the needs of the main stakeholders, in particular the most important parties in the energy, telecom, finance, industry and water sectors. The aim is to ensure that at the end of the year there is a plan so that European parties no longer need to call upon the US, Singapore or Japan to have their systems and products tested independently.

Besides that, in The Hague we also facilitate the dialogue about security, privacy and appropriate regulation. For example by bringing it to the attention of our partners in the city, but also towards our national and European administration.

Because it is also a matter of public and private parties taking responsibility and ownership.

Together we have to make sure that all new technology and the way that we use it are secure by design, which also means that privacy always needs to be taken into account.

As I said before: awareness, understanding and cooperation are essential for a secure, connected world and a strong economy.

We are very willing to also conduct this dialogue with you. Not only during these two days of the Mobile 360 dedicated to Privacy and Security but also after that. Here in The Hague we have created a national security cluster ‘The Hague Security Delta’  in which we together with triple helix partners will continue to work on enhancing the digital resilience of our society.

I wish you many instructive insights for the next two days. I want to thank you all for being here and I want to thank the GSMA for organizing this event in the Hague, city of peace justice and security.