Pieter van Houten

CISO of the Year nominee

Pieter van Houten is the Global CISO of SHV, the largest Dutch family-owned company. It is active in areas such as heavy lifting, animal nutrition, energy distribution, TIC, and more. In his role as Global CISO, Pieter aims to combine vision and strategy in realistic plans, by taking different perspectives, disciplines, and stakeholders into account.

In addition to his role at SHV, Pieter is a lecturer for post-graduate courses in Information Security and Data Auditing at the University of Amsterdam and Tilburg. He is the author of the book Informatiebeveiliging onder controle (Information security under control), which is widely used in the academic world. Pieter is the chair of the Dutch NCSC Multi-national Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MN-ISAC) and works as a coach and trainer for students in the security sector.

On being the CISO of SHV
“The question is not if we’re going to be attacked, the question is when. With that mindset, I define our security strategy. By taking into account the possibility that you might be attacked, rather than merely trying to prevent it, you can take more effective measures. At the same time, it’s important to open up the discussion and start collaborating with other organizations in our ecosystem. We’re all connected, so if one organization is vulnerable, we all become vulnerable.”

On driving innovation
“The cyber world is changing, and security officers will need to change as well to stay relevant. Cyber threats are ever-increasing, but the world in which they take place moves too, by drivers such as the arrival of AI and new technology. Additionally, the war on talent isn’t something we should underestimate. To keep up, we need to build strong internal synergies, drive innovation, and create extensive external ecosystems rather than withhold it.”

On his CISO of the Year nomination
“I strongly believe that we, as CISOs, have the responsibility to look outside of our organizations in an ecosystem approach. Throughout the last fifteen years, I have therefore made it a point to contribute substantially to the sector. By not only securing my organization but also by teaching and collaborating with other organizations, I try to strengthen the Dutch cybersecurity ecosystem as a whole.”