Chair Jan De Blauwe’s New Year address 2023

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As we stand on the brink of a new year, Jan De Blauwe, the Chair of the Cyber Security Coalition, delivers his New Year's address. His words today set the tone for our collective journey ahead, inspiring us to forge stronger defences, embrace innovation, and navigate the evolving digital landscape with resilience and unity.

Dear Coalition member,

 

It is truly an honour to address such a committed and dynamic group today. The progress and accomplishments that we have made together are not just noteworthy but inspirational.

Since 2020, the size of our member network has doubled. Each member has been instrumental in shaping the vibrant and diverse community we cherish today. Your dedication has been a driving force behind our collective achievements, and for that, I am immensely grateful.

As we transitioned into 2023, the Coalition continued to flourish, welcoming 25 additional members, bringing our total to 175. This consistent growth is a testament to our unwavering commitment to our mission and the value that the cyber security community sees in our collective efforts. It is not merely about numbers; it is about the shared experiences, knowledge, and aspirations that each new member brings to our organization.

In the fast-paced and critical field of cybersecurity, we have witnessed a proliferation of complex challenges. From the rise of advanced persistent threats to the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals, the importance of staying vigilant and adaptive has never been greater. To navigate these turbulent waters, our Coalition has taken a proactive stance by facilitating a robust exchange of ideas and strategies through our networking events.

The BE-CYBER event in October 2023 was a landmark occasion, drawing close to 300 participants who engaged in rich dialogue and learned from the expertise of industry leaders. Additionally, the GRC: Be Connected! event provided a focused platform for members to delve into the nuances of Governance, Risk, and Compliance, areas that are critical for the integrity and resilience of security operations.

In September, the strategic exercise conducted by our board, alongside representatives from premium members, served as a powerful forum to evaluate and confirm our strategic direction. This collaborative effort reinforced our commitment to a member-centric approach, ensuring that our strategies remain relevant and impactful.

The active engagement of our members in our working groups deserves special recognition. The exchange of best practices in cyber security among our specialists has been a cornerstone of our progress, elevating our knowledge and preparedness to new heights.

I must also extend profound thanks to the staff of the Coalition. Your daily contributions lay the groundwork for our success. Your dedication, often behind the scenes, is the glue that holds our organization together and keeps us moving forward.

Last, let us not forget the remarkable evening of December 6th when we hosted the Awards Gala at the Africa Palace in Tervuren. That evening we honoured exceptional individuals with four prestigious awards: Young Professional, CISO, Educator/Researcher, and Cyber Security Personality of the Year. These awards were presented to those who have distinguished themselves in the field of cybersecurity and contributed significantly to making Belgium a safer place. The Gala was graced by the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and the North Sea, Mr. Paul Van Tigchelt, and numerous esteemed members of our cybersecurity community. It was a night to remember celebrating the achievements and dedication of those at the forefront of our industry.

As we take a moment to celebrate these milestones, let us also recognize that this is just one chapter in our ongoing story. The future holds new opportunities, challenges, and achievements. With our continued commitment to embracing new members, nurturing an environment of growth, and tirelessly pursuing our goals, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for your dedication, your passion, and your participation in this remarkable journey. Together, we are not just growing in numbers but also in strength, knowledge, and influence.

 

Jan De Blauwe
Chair

Cyber Security Coalition

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About the author

Cathy Suykens joined the Cyber Security Coalition in April 2018 as Operations Manager. She boasts a longstanding career in the financial services industry in different domains with various assignments abroad.