International security

Cyber courses at Clingendael Academy
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Training type
Open Registration Courses
Training category
International security
Training location
The Hague
Course language

The cyber team at Clingendael Academy recognises that exploring the cyber threat landscape may not paint a pretty picture. Consider the impact that hostile cyber operations have on society and daily life, the existence of scam farms, the realisation that growing digitalisation enlarges attack surfaces, and the awareness of how emerging technologies might benefit criminal and state actors. Alarm bells may ring, but luckily the Clingendael cyber team does not stop there.

Instead, we explore potential solutions to these problems and approach the cyber domain not only from a technical standpoint, but also from one of governance and geopolitics. What can professionals do to contribute to global cyber security and stability? Diplomats have a different role to play than private-sector employees, and policymakers at economic or trade departments have different goals for the international cyber realm than police officers. Clingendael Academy therefore focuses on the international cyber domain as relevant for two audiences:

The cyber threat landscape

The first part of our courses often focus on the cyber threat landscape, including malicious actors, their strategic goals, and risks to organisations and governments. We explore the tools and techniques used by hacktivists, criminal gangs, and state-sponsored hackers by asking participants to ‘red team’ and think like a hacker via the cyber kill chain. How do malicious actors gain initial access to the systems of a victim? What linkages exist between cybercriminal gangs and states? With what strategic intent do major global cyber powers collect data? The question then becomes: what can I or my organisation do?

Moving towards solutions: toolboxes

The cyber toolbox for any professional

We focus on three stages of learning based on the needs of the audience. On a personal level, we promote personal digital hygiene and offer tips and tricks. On an organisational level, we delve into measures to break the cyber kill chain and safeguard your organisation against cyber-attacks. On a policy or strategic level, we offer strategic tools to help your organisation establish a cyber (policy) strategy. Our courses also provide insight into national cyber governance structures and crisis mechanisms.

The toolbox of a cyber diplomat

We provide diplomats with a cyber diplomacy toolkit through our courses, enabling them to make both short- and long-term contributions to peace and stability in the cyberspace. Diplomats from countries and regions including Indonesia, Southern Africa, Nigeria, the Western Balkans, Eastern Africa, and Oman received the “toolbox of a cyber diplomat”.

The toolbox includes themes such as implementing the normative framework of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace and constructively discussing its content to contribute to long-term processes.

We investigate the applicability of international law in the cyber domain and the norms for responsible state behaviour. Additionally, we analyse actors’ perspectives about the normative framework. We use strategic tools such as a stakeholder analysis to identify opportunities for regional and international cooperation in implementing the normative framework, including Confidence Building Measures and Cyber Capacity Building. We pride ourselves in working together with Prof. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo, a renowned expert in this field and the Vice-Chair of the African Union Cyber Security Experts Group.

When direct action is needed to uphold the norms for responsible state behaviour, diplomats may be tasked to respond to a malicious cyber operation. Our trainings give them the tools to assess who should be held accountable (attribution) as well as the policy instruments available to respond to a large-scale cyberattack. Our courses also give diplomats the opportunity to apply these tools in a fictitious cyber crisis simulation.

Join a cyber course at Clingendael Academy

Are you interested in learning more about our cyber training courses? Join our open enrolment course (in Dutch). Looking for a tailor made training for your organisation? Feel free to contact us.