Recap: Succesful Cybersecurity Trade Mission to RSA Conference 2024 in San Francisco

25 May 2024
Author: HSD Foundation

From 5 to 10 May, a Dutch delegation joined the cybersecurity trade mission to San Francisco to visit the RSA Conference & Exhibition (RSAC), build partnerships and share their expertise. In total the group consisted of 100+ persons from more than 30 organisations. The Dutch delegation looks back at a fantastic week with a full programme, including many networking, matchmaking & knowledge sharing events organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), InnovationQuarter and Security Delta (HSD). The mission is part of the roadmap Cybersecurity US: a multiyear programmatic approach to cybersecurity in the United States.


As the Netherlands is seen as the digital gateway to Europe, cybersecurity is a top priority challenge on the agenda for the Netherlands. Reducing cybercrime, securing digital infrastructure, and protecting online privacy are of great importance when building a safe online environment. Global collaboration is required to combat these challenges. To enhance collaboration with the US and enter the US market a roadmap Cybersecurity US was initiated. This roadmap focuses on trade promotion, innovation, knowledge sharing and acquisition. The trade mission to the RSAC and the PIB US is part of this programme.



NL Pavilion


It was the sixth time that a Dutch delegation attended the RSAC, the largest cybersecurity conference in the world, and for the fourth time the Netherlands hosted a NL Pavilion, where seven Dutch companies showcased their cutting-edge cyber security solutions:  Attic Security, DTACT, IRM360, Keypasco, Orange Cyberdefense, On2IT, and SecureMe2.  The Pavilion was officially opened by Ernst Noorman (Ambassador-at-Large for Cyber Affairs), Dirk Janssen (Consul-General of the Netherlands), and Linda Gray Martin (Vice President, RSA Conference).


Kick-off at Consul General Residence


The mission started with a visit to the Residence of the Consul General in San Francisco, where all participants received a warm welcome. The next morning the mission was officially kicked off by Agnes Koppelman (Deputy Consul General & Head of Economic Affairs), followed by the opening talk from Martijn Lucassen (Deputy Director of Digital Economy Department). Walter de Wit (Innovation Attaché CG SF) gave a presentation about doing business in the US. Following this Ernie Bio (Managing Director at Forgepoint Central) gave a presentation in Venture Capital Investments in Cybersecurity and René Bonvanie (CMO Emeritus Palo Alto Networks) presented the US Cyber Security Ecosystem. The Monday at the Consulate General ended with a presentation (How to run a startup in Silicon Valley) by Michiel Prins Co-Founder of HackerOne. Monday ended with a first visit to the Dutch Pavilion and booths at the Moscone Center.


Tuesday the delegation visited the German Pavilion, the Spanish Pavilion and South Korean Pavilion. Incoming visits to the Dutch Pavilion from the Spanish and South Korean Pavilion were welcomed, as well as a visit from the Taiwanese delegation (led by the Administration for Digital Industries), fostering knowledge sharing and networking amongst the delegates of nations around the world.



Matchmaking & Knowledge sharing


Besides visiting the RSA Conference & Exhibition, participating organisations visited the ECSO Networking Night, which brought together over 200 cybersecurity stakeholders, including leading European founders, US-based buyers and investors, European investors, industry leaders and ecosystem representatives. During the week many side events took place, as well as other networking opportunities (such as the NightDragon Innovation Summit event).


To enhance knowledge sharing, an NL Talks event was organised by Security Delta (HSD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Consulate General San Francisco. The main theme of the event was ‘AI & Cybersecurity – Threats, Opportunities, and Adoption Challenges for Governments’.


The session was moderated by Heikki Hietala, (visiting fellow, Hoover Institution). After welcoming remarks by Ernst Noorman, a panel discussion took place. On the panel were:


  • Hester Somsen (Deputy National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) and director Cyber Security and State Threats)
  • Lili Davoudian (Federal Leader for AI International Security at Microsoft)
  • Andrew Reddie (founder and Co-director of the Berkeley Risk and Security Lab)


Together they explored the topic of AI, and the risks and opportunities it brings for governments in a time where technological innovation is moving at breakneck speeds. The specific impact on governments was explored, for example by engaging in discussion about how the government perceives the impact from AI from their perspective. As well as looking at the insights from Private Sector and Academia on the role they can play to ensure breakthroughs in AI technology have a positive impact on cybersecurity in general. After the panel, there were opportunities for engaging in networking.


The mission led to many new connections and business opportunities for the participants.

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