Aim for the young data center security specialist Secior

Fred Streefland.

Security veteran Fred Streefland, 54, is starting this month as director of Secior, a startup focusing on data center security. According to Streefland, the security of operational technology (ot) is often poor in data centers. Secior will change that.

Secior (pronounced ‘secure’) focuses on ‘data center holistic security’, says Streefland. It is working on a risk assessment program for data centers. With such an assessment, data centers need to get a complete picture of the security of their operational technology (ot), information technology (it) and the available internet of things (iot) equipment. Secior currently consists of three people and a consultant and wants to grow to twenty employees within a year.

Streefland: ‘By’ holistic ‘I mean the comprehensive security of the data center itself. Data centers often have more ot at home than expected, and those devices – such as refrigeration facilities, power supply and technology for access control and smart lighting – make up a large part of the total attack surface. ‘ He states that data center owners often have no idea that malicious parties can, for example, shut down a data center via air conditioning. He also points out that system failure and thus downtime on servers and a data center has major consequences for organizations and companies. ‘Sometimes it can even have a disruptive effect on society, as was evident last year with a fire in a data center in France.’


“Risk management is becoming increasingly important”

According to the Computable expert, there is currently no company that can do a complete scan of ot, it and iot security in a data center. With Secior, he hopes to be able to offer it. For the development of such an assessment, the startup looks at existing solutions from suppliers, open source tools or a combination of these and examines whether it will develop parts itself.

With the data center security check, Secior is also responding to the NIS2 Directive, the European legislation on tightening the security of ‘critical infrastructures’. Data centers are also covered and must meet higher security requirements to prevent system failures. Streefland: ‘Risk management is therefore an increasingly important topic in the data center industry.’

ICTroom and DC People

Secior was founded by ICT entrepreneur Sander Nieuwmeijer. He was a former founder and co-owner of the data center builder ICTroom, which collapsed in 2019. Nieuwmeijer also owns DC People posting for data center staff.

For his data center security startup, Nieuwmeijer was looking for a security specialist who can handle the day-to-day management. After a survey in his network, Nieuwmeijer was tipped off by several that Streefland is the right person for the role of director.

Streefland has more than fourteen years of experience in the cybersecurity domain. After his career with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, where he was an officer for sixteen years, Streefland entered the ICT sector in 2008 as a security consultant at IBM. He then gained experience with security in ot at Accenture as senior security manager. He later developed ot-specific red and blue team training for the European Network for Cyber ​​Security (ENCS). Streefland also worked as information security manager for software maker Exact and data center company LeaseWeb. For the network security company Palo Alto Networks, he was the chief security officer for Northern and Eastern Europe.


“I’ve never been able to catch Hikvision on backdoors”

Before moving to Secior, Streefland spent two years and four months as senior director of cybersecurity at Chinese camera systems provider Hikvision. He looks back on a ‘very interesting’ but turbulent time.

‘I had to deal with political headwinds there all the time.’ He refers to suspicions of Hikvision and the Chinese government’s ties and backdoors to channel camera images to the Chinese state. Streefland: ‘The company Hikvision has invested heavily in the cyber security of its products. But for some, the cameras are suspicious in advance because they come from China. During my time at Hikvision, I learned an incredible amount about cyber security, and with all my knowledge and experience, I have never been able to capture Hikvision with alleged backdoors. ‘

He is now embarking on a new adventure at the startup Secior. ‘My knowledge of IoT security also comes in handy here.’

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