Chair Jan De Blauwe’s New Year’s Address 2020

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Dear Coalition member,


I am writing to convey my very best wishes and sincere thanks to all of you as we wrap up an eventful and challenging 2020. I believe that we have many reasons to be proud of our accomplishments.

2020 has been the year where our association has taken a leap forward into earning a stronger presence in Belgian society. We will soon reach the mark of 100 member organizations. The Board is very pleased with this expansion, but also with the growing attendance at member activities and meetings. Size is not an objective in its own right; however, a growing member base helps us to better respond to the Coalition’s mission: it enables richer and more impactful exchange between security practitioners; it helps our association to take a stand on cyber security topics that come up for discussion, and to put matters on the agenda.

In an era of social distancing, we have strived to keep our community connected through 40 virtual events boasting about 2,000 attendees. For the sixth time we have put our shoulders under the national awareness-raising campaign – which this year focussed on two-factor authentication – in cooperation with the Centre for Cyber Security Belgium. The community spirit gave also birth to many other awareness initiatives such as the launch of an e-Learning tool and the ‘Clean up your data’ campaign. We have congratulated 26 certified member representatives who participated in the second edition of the Cyber Security Awareness & Culture Manager training, an initiative by members for members. Our messages now reach 2,800 LinkedIn followers (circa 230 in 2019), and we are working on enhancing our Twitter reach.

In 2021, our Operations Team will continue setting up virtual events for the next months, as long as the pandemic situation requires it.  The Cyber Talks are likely to become a permanent part of our value proposition. But we are all looking forward to in-person encounters and hopefully we will be able to welcome you to our long-awaited lustrum celebration in the autumn of next year. We endeavour to further professionalize our activities such as the cyber awareness training and will work on new awareness-raising tools. The influx of new members will further increase the potential for experience sharing and give it greater substance. And as already announced, we will increase the capacity of the Operations Office to further develop our communication activities.

Last, a call to action. The Coalition exists for and by its members. Your input is instrumental to our gradual maturity growth. Therefore, do reach out to us with any concerns, questions, or ideas for improvement related to our value proposition, planned activities, unmet needs, etc. Cathy and Christian will support your activities and projects with great enthusiasm.

I would like to give special thanks to the six health care institutions in our community. Thanks to their dedication and commitment, our society is overcoming this difficult period. Our community sees it as a special mission to support them in strengthening their cyber resilience. We hope that many other health care institutions in Belgium will follow their example and join the Coalition.

Thank you for being part of the Cyber Security Coalition and for your continued support. We will maintain our momentum and actively work to shape our future as Belgium’s cyber security force.

We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

Best regards,


Jan De Blauwe


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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.