Faculty in the Spotlight: Professor Catherine Garcia van Hoogstraten

Photo of Prof. Catherine Garcia van Hoogstraten

By Brandon Hartley

Professor Catherine Garcia van Hoogstraten has spent over a decade working on innovation policy and both internet and cybersecurity governance for academic and government agencies in addition to think tanks and companies within the private sector. Beginning on Tuesday, October 25th she’ll begin teaching a course titled “Cybersecurity Law and Policy” at Webster Leiden. In this recent interview, she discussed the cybersecurity industry and what students can expect during her class.

What topics will you be covering during your class at Webster Leiden?

It’s a nine week course. It will cover policy challenges and initiatives related to cybersecurity.

I’m looking at it from a governance related perspective and I’ll be cross-cutting it with the legal aspects of cybersecurity and the technical as well. At the end of the course, we will look at the role of compliance to bridge and solve governance, legal and technological challenges.

What sort of skills should students who want to become cybersecurity specialists focus on developing?

When I was asked by Webster Leiden to design this course I thought about an ideal cybersecurity profile that’s currently needed in the market. It’s a professional that’s able to work, collaborate and communicate with cross-functional cyber-risk and data privacy advisory teams. It’s a person with not just specific knowledge but great critical analysis as well.


What sort of career could a student pursue in the industry?

Cybersecurity compliance is very trendy at the moment. There’s a need for cybersecurity advisory and data privacy teams in consultancy companies like Deloitte but it’s not just them. There’s also governments that need policy makers that understand the different vulnerabilities and threats in our society that involve cybersecurity. We also can’t forget organizations such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. They are looking for people who are able to understand these problems and design specific preparative solutions. All in all, the labor market is quite open and generous with the amount of possibilities available for cybersecurity professionals.

What would you say are the biggest threats and concerns in the industry at the moment?

There are so many different threats and “actors,” as we call them, that push forward cybersecurity policies and agendas. There’s problems with hackers but also there’s the human factor. Cybersecurity often begins at home. We’ve got to consider how we use social media and be careful about what kind of personal information we give away. But there’s also so many different layers of cyber threats that we face in current times. There’s a wide range, I would say.

Professor Van Hoogstraten will be moderating a panel at the upcoming UN Internet Governance Forum this December. You can learn more about it via this article that she wrote for LInkedIn. You can also follow her via her Twitter account.

If you would like additional information about Webster Leiden’s Cybersecurity program or to fill out an application, contact Webster Leiden office at admissions@webster.nl.