Participants Review International Cyber Security Summer School

19 Oct 2021
Author: HSD Foundation

From 22 to 27 August, the 6th edition of the International Cyber Security Summer School (ICSSS) took place. This year, 60 students and young professionals from 20 countries attended the digital version of the Summer School. The students attended lectures on the most current cyber security topics and were challenged with cases to work on new solutions to make our online activities safer. ICSSS aims to share knowledge and challenge talented young professionals active in the digital security field.


General aspects

Following a week full of new knowledge and online meetings, the participants completed a questionnaire on how they experienced the ICSSS. The participants were requested to rate several general aspects of the event, from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). As it turns out, they were most satisfied with the role and guidance of Marlou Snelders and Fee A’mema, who were responsible for the organisation of the ICSSS on behalf of HSD. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme and the overall quality of the lectures and lecturers both scored high as well. 



The participants also assessed the different aspects of the programme. The students were most satisfied with the challenge provided by Accenture and the lecture given by Joep Gommers of EclecticIQ. The participants were also very satisfied with the Serious Game hosted by Leiden University and the Introduction given by Peter Zinn. Concerning the challenges, the participants were most satisfied with the guidance offered by both NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and Palo Alto.



However, according to the participants, there were also a few things that could be improved.

Most suggestions for improvement related to the fact that the event was online (due to Covid-19 restrictions). Suggestions included shorter presentations (students found it more difficult to stay focused because the presentations were online), more physical and social interaction during the event, and more focus on improving the use of PowerPoint and screensharing, to avoid unnecessary loss of time.


The participants had to rate their overall experience, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. With over 80% of the participants awarding the Summer School five stars, the average rating given by all the participants turned out to be a 4.1! With the useful feedback and recommendations given by the participants, HSD aims to further improve the event and get this rating even higher next year.



For the first time, the ICSSS will also have ambassadors. Out of this year’s participants, two ambassadors were elected to take on this role. They will serve as a source of information to whom anyone who has questions about the Summer School can turn. They will be available to all future (and old) students who want a quick, clear, and possibly also personal answer to their questions. Their contact details will be published on the ICSSS website.


“I did not know something like this existed. When I found the ICSSS, I was really excited. A week is short, so it is not very time consuming, and it offers the opportunity to learn from some very well-known people and organisations in the cybersecurity domain”.  Says Fantaw M. Negash, one of the two new ICSSS ambassadors. 


The other new ambassador, Cristiano Pellegrini, chose to apply for the ambassador role because he likes working as a team representative. “I really enjoy being the link between an institution and a team. Plus, I really believe in the Summer School. It has only been around for a few years, but it is growing really strong. The particularity of cybersecurity is that it deals both with policy as well as technical aspects. This interdisciplinary aspect is something that the Summer School really focuses on.”


International Cyber Security Summer School 2022

The 7th edition of the International Cyber Security Summer School (ICSSS) will be held during the second half of August 2022 and will hopefully take place in person again. Pre-registration has already been opened. Pre-register for ICSSS 2022 to stay informed about the event! More info about exact dates and time will follow soon.



Schermafbeelding 2021 10 27 om 16.11.40

HSD Partners involved