Security professionals from across the Benelux region gathered on the 4 October at Leonardo Hotel in Breda for the revealing of the winners of the 2023 Benelux Outstanding Security Performance Awards.
The winners highlight the very best companies, people, projects and technologies that have made a significant contribution in safeguarding people, places and property from all areas of potential crime and disorder.
Those who were selected went through a rigorous and robust independent judging process and should feel very proud.
The 2023 winners are:
Outstanding Security Manager/Director – Berndt Rif, Council for the Judiciary
As National Security Authority Judiciary (National Chief Security Officer) and in his previous position as Chief Security Concern at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Berndt was the connecting factor, bridge builder, between the stakeholders within the government and with private parties. He works closely with teams of young security professionals where he serves as distinguished coach and mentor. In June 2023, he published a thought-provoking security management model together with a colleague from The Hague University of Applied Sciences. He is also involved in the update of the National Guideline Pre-, In- and Post Employment Screening and the National Guideline Protective Intelligence.
Outstanding Security Team – Umicore Security Team
The Umicore Security Team members are all leaders and experts who have achieved recognition and respect across departments. They are proud to be seen as the “go to” team achieved through a dedicated and professional approach. The Team – Kristl Matton, Nele Eykens, Pierre Sajdak, Piotr Barkiewicz, Ellen Demey, Simon Cverle, Tom Vanharen, Matthias Günther – has a proven track record of delivering results on time and within budget.
Outstanding New Security Product – FROC (Facial Recognition on Card) – Secure Logistics
Secure Logistics is an identity provider established in 2003. The company mainly works in logistics and industry focussed on improving identity & access management with security, privacy and efficiency all prioritised. Over 53,000 people from 33 nationalities use their XS-Keys at more than 110 locations in 3 countries, generating more than 1 million verifications a day.
Outstanding Security Partnership – NineID and World Forum, The Hague
World Forum The Hague and NineID – have formed a partnership committed to transforming Event Security with outstanding performance at its core. The partnership between World Forum, The Hague, the world’s most secure event location (reflected in the successful visit of President Zelensky), and NineID, winner of the Outstanding New Security Product 2022 award represents individually exceptional organisations mutually committed to security collaboration. They have redefined event safety and set new standards. The partnership is founded on a shared vision of creating a safer and more secure event environment. In July 2023, the partnership was also awarded the AIPC (International Association of Convention Centres) Innovation Award.
Outstanding Police/Law Enforcement Initiative – Group-IB Investigation Team
Since 2020 Group-IB has been supporting Europol -specifically EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats) – by delivering “Carding Action” focused on tackling the consequences of recently compromised card data. This response to financial fraud has resulted in massive savings. Following this success Group-IB is now preparing for the 3rd edition of the “Carding Action” that will go live in the fall of 2023.
Outstanding Young Security Professional – Merijn van Gool, Nederlandsche Bank
Merijn van Gool is a young security professional with high potential. In 2017 he successfully completed his studies in security management at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences. His course included an internship at the Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch Central Bank) in Amsterdam. He was offered a contract immediately after his graduation and joined as a security policy advisor. Within two years he was given the opportunity to progress to project manager in (operational) security working at the cash centre in Zeist.
Outstanding Security Training Initiative – Videntium.be Academy
Videntium Academy is an established training institute specializing in security training. Its emphasis on OSINT and SOCMINT techniques, along with the effective implementation of an ‘intelligence cycle’, has revolutionized the way law enforcement professionals approach security challenges. Through this comprehensive program, professionals gain advanced tools and techniques for the proactive monitoring, detection and prevention of criminal activity. Videntium.be Academy’s commitment to excellence has improved both operational efficiency and public safety.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Hendrik Vanderkimpen
Hendrik has always been able to place the customer centre stage. Early exceptional performance with the Belgian national railway company enabled progression to a role as the Chief of staff at the COO Office, and in 2004 to the coveted role of Chief Security Officer. He was charged with the responsibility of ensuring SNCB passengers were always protected. He achieved this with a high level of expertise, strong leadership abilities, and a strategic vision that were widely admired. Indeed, the combination of both strategic and operational skills has played a significant role in shaping Hendrik’s professional journey and afforded him the opportunity to fill prominent roles elsewhere. He became the president and co-creator of Private Security Association (PSA); and vice-Chairman of Colpofer, a collaboration between the railway security and police forces of the European Member States; and he is the past president of the UIC Security Platform Worldwide. Within these, Hendrik is considered a reference point for anti-terror issues in railway environment. Throughout his career, his willingness to empower others with his knowledge and insights have always been exemplary. By lecturing at the university, Hendrik is providing valuable insights into the world of security and sharing real-world examples to students who aspire to work in similar roles.