20 young people, including 10 American youngsters from Albuquerque and the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, will be welcomed in The Hague by Cybersprint on 21 March 2019. The young coding talents will learn how to use their coding and hacking skills in a positive way and to make the digital world safer. They will also see real life examples of how they could use these skills to increase their career opportunities. The programme is part of the CyberHeroes-week which is set up by Cyberworkplace in Rotterdam and the American Embassy in The Hague.
Hacking is not always shown in a positive light and is often associated with cybercrime. However, a hackers’ sophisticated technical skills can also be used to help organisations discover and solve digital risks. According to Anouk Vos, initiator of the CyberHeroes programme, there is a big taboo on hacking in the US. During a visit in 2017, she got to know the Cultivating Coders organisation that focuses on retraining young people into IT-specialists. “The young people, many of whom live in the Navajo Nation, could perform excellent coding, but didn’t have experience with hacking. In the CyberHeroes programme we teach them how they can help businesses and governmental organisations to solve complex security problems. Unlike in the United States, ethical hacking is on the rise in the Netherlands”. The aim of the programme is to offer young people insight into a career as a programmer or ethical hacker.
The youngsters take part in the CyberHeroes programme, mainly organised in Rotterdam, from 17 to 23 March 2019. They visit various organisations in the field of digital security. On Thursday March 21, Pieter Jansen, ethical hacker and CEO of Cybersprint, will receive the youngsters in The Hague. “We look forward to this meeting. We will show the talented young people the different career options in cyber security and we want to inspire and convince them to use their skills in an ethical way. In the Netherlands we are at the forefront of collaboration between hackers, governmental institutions and businesses. Within Cybersprint for example, a large number of ethical hackers are working on the development of our digital security platform”.
During the afternoon the youngsters will have a short tour on the Campus of The Hague Security Delta and they will be introduced to various cyber security companies and some ethical hackers from Cybersprint. They will also meet representatives of the Internet of Things Laboratory from Hogeschool Leiden and the company Splendo, which specializes in high-tech developments. The municipality of The Hague will explain how they have opened themselves for ethical hackers during the hack competition “Hack The Hague”, were they tested the security of their digital systems.
This initiative fits in well with other events that Cybersprint has organised for young people and ethical hackers in the past. Earlier the “Hackend de Herst in” (Hacking into the fall) course was organised for high school students and also the hacking competition “Hack The Hague”, in collaboration with the municipality of The Hague, was organised by Cybersprint for a second time this year. Creating a match with the ambitions of young people in the field of coding and hacking at an early stage can contribute to solving the huge shortages of experts in the field of cyber security.