Information Security Awards 2008 for Frank Robben and intoPIX
Leuven, 9 June 2008
This year’s LSEC Information Security Awards go to Frank Robben, head of the Crossroads Bank, and the Belgian start-up intoPIX. These were the results of a survey among the members of LSEC. LSEC wants to use the awards to stimulate renewal in the sector. The awards reward people, projects or companies that are making an important contribution to the development of the sector of information security specialists in our country.
The ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ goes this year to Frank Robben, general manager of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security. Since the 1980s Frank Robben has been pivotal in the development of e-government in Belgium. In addition to his management tasks at the Crossroads Bank he is also active at other government institutions, such as Fedict (Federal Public Service for Information and Communications Technology), Smals, the Privacy Commission, the health information and applications portal behealth.be and the Service for Administrative Simplification. He is besides a researcher and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI) at the Catholic University of Leuven.
According to the expert jury of LSEC, he has demonstrated his value by his vision, firm conviction, unwavering commitment and the results achieved. More specifically, the jury is giving him the award because of his contribution to the development of the Belgian eID system that resulted from his role at the Crossroads Banks and his advocacy of improved information security at the federal government.
Second winner is intoPIX
The ‘Innovation and Important Sector Contribution Award’ for 2008 goes to intoPIX from Louvain-la-Neuve. As a Belgian SME, intoPIX has succeeded in getting into a key position in the security of digital cinema distribution in just a short while. The company actively collaborated on the development of international standards, such as JPEG 2000 and DCI. Both help define the standard architecture of digital cinema.
To help combat piracy, intoPIX developed a decoder for the fast and efficient decoding or decryption of data streams. Recently the American firm Kodak also opted for this technology. intoPIX took part of its technological know-how from the Crypto Group DICE at UCL.
The jury agreed that, besides all the other innovative projects put forward, the award should go to intoPIX: they put a Belgian company on the international map and this is once again a breakthrough for our information security sector. intoPIX turned things into a commercial success by placing specific security mechanisms on a programmable chip.
The survey among LSEC’s members resulted in a shortlist, from which an expert jury finally chose the two above-mentioned winners. “All the people and projects proposed were of a high standard,” according to Ulrich Seldeslachts, CEO of LSEC. “For example, there were strong projects involving the use of the eID card, including the possibility of the Flemish government delegating access control and Certipost integrating the eID card into eBay. However, the majority of the experts were quick to agree on the final winners.”
Belgium has been active in the area of security technologies, which have gained a key role in the world, for more than 20 years now. Just think of the encryption standard AES-Rijndael and our eID card. Also companies such as Vasco Data Security and Verizon Business Solutions, formerly Ubizen, have a main office in Belgium.
Currently the sector has an estimated 4000 experts in Belgium. In addition there are thousands of other IT and security specialists who regularly get involved with information security. Many of them make important contributions to the development of new services, more efficient communication and ultimately to the strengthening of our knowledge-based society. The conclusion emerging from the survey was that many Belgian companies are working on a whole series of interesting security applications that may be made public later this year or next year.