Strengthening the EU's Cyber Defence and Resilience


Emerging technologies (e.g. AI, quantum, HPC), connectivity and autonomy will tremendously increase the level, complexity and scale of cyberattacks with a potentially enormous impact for our economy, business and lives. Increasing the EU's cybersecurity capabilities and resilience against cyberattacks has never been more pressing. Cyber defence and cyber resilience are crucial when we are discussing the EU’s security and implicitly, the future of Europe. The session presented an overview of the steps that are currently being taken in order to prepare Europe to better protect all its assets (infrastructures, governments and businesses). Watch the recording and discover about the EU's efforts to strengthen its cybersecurity and resilience.


  • Dirk Dubois, Head of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC)

Dirk Dubois graduates from the Belgian Military Academy with a master degree in social and military science in 1985. In the first part of his career he occupies several operational posts, including abroad, and positions as a staff officer. From 2007 to 2012 he is a training manager at the ESDC, before joining the Directorate-general for education of the Belgian MoD. On 01 April 2015, he is appointed as Head of the ESDC. In December 2017, the EU Member States decided to prolong his mandate by consensus until 2022.


  • Nicolas Hernandez, CEO, aleph-networks

Title of the presentation: Why monitor the darkweb has become essential

Nicolas Hernandez has a background in mathematics, philosophy and information science, which has allowed him to build an original approach to the challenges of innovation, with the will to advance both technological and ethical issues. His research has led him to take an interest in the traces left on the Web: how to exploit the traces left by everyone, but also how to protect the transmitter of the trace. These problems gave birth to aleph-networks and to GM Search Dark, which allows a new look on Dark and Deepweb.

  • Kadi Saad CERT-EU, Head of CERT-EU

Title of the presentation: The Threat Landscape: Past, Present & Future

Saâd Kadhi has over 20 years of experience in operational cybersecurity. He discovered Incident Response, Digital Forensics and Cyber Threat Intelligence in early 2008 and have been working exclusively in this fascinating field since then. He built and managed the CSIRT of a French multinational food-products corporation covering more than 120 000 employees worldwide and worked at the CERT of one of the major banking groups to fight cybercrime and respond to cyberattacks. In 2013, he joined Banque de France, the French national central bank, to create and develop their CERT. It quickly became one of major teams in France and considered one of the most advanced central bank CSIRTs. In 2019, he became the Head of CERT-EU, the cyberdefence entity for all the EU Institutions, Bodies & Agencies.

  • Maria Vello, CEO Cyber Defence Alliance

Title of the presentation: Accelerating knowledge, capabilities, maturity levels, resilience, and preparedness to strengthen the economic stability of the financial sector and Critical National Infrastructure in the EU

Ms Vello works to accelerate innovation, capabilities, knowledge and preparedness to increase maturity levels and resilience across national critical infrastructure.

  • Nicole van der Meulen,Head of Strategy & Development team at European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)

Title of the presentation: Losing the battle, winning the war? A multi-faceted approach to fighting cybercrime

Nicole van der Meulen started her cybercrime journey in 2006 when she discovered the topic of digital identity theft, a new type of crime with a new type of victim. Ever since then she has been captured by the continuous evolution of cybercrime and the ongoing question of how we can most effectively respond to its proliferation. She currently works as a Senior Strategic Analyst at EC3, Europol. Prior to her appointment at Europol, she held various positions in academia, interest representation and government all within the field of cybercrime and cybersecurity. She studied Political Science in the United States (BA, 2005) and the Netherlands (MSc, 2006) and completed her doctoral dissertation on digital identity theft at Tilburg University, the Netherlands in 2010.