TF-CSIRT is turning 20!

And who is best to tell the story than those who lived it? To mark this special occasion, we have reached out to some of the most notable members of the community, who have contributed to TF-CSIRT as we know it today and asked them to share their memories and visions for the future. 

Lionel Ferette

  • TF-CSIRT Chair: 2008-2014
  • First TF-CSIRT Meeting: Madrid, 2004
  • Favourite TF-CSIRT Location: Hamburg Social Event (brewery)

Lionel Ferette is a well known cyber security expert, who has been a part of the TF-CSIRT community wearing different hats – moving from academic sector in Belgium to working at ENISA in Greece and then back to Brussels – but always remaining an active community member and leading it as a chair for 6 years (2008 – 2014). Over the years, Lionel volunteered as a TRANSITS trainer, helped new CERT teams and people at the beginning of their careers and contributed to the content of the training and coaching new trainers. 

The value of TF-CSIRT is the community itself. People are willing to provide knowledge and help with no financial implications

Lionel Ferette

However, back in 2004, when he was tasked with establishing a new CERT team at BELNET, Lionel relied on the help of the others: “I had no idea how I would set up a CERT, I had never done it before”, – remembers Lionel. He recalls thinking that the people he met at his first TF-CSIRT meeting were friendly and welcoming. “By the time the meeting ended, I had a bunch of trustees, and phone numbers of people who have told me if you need any help, you have any questions, just give me a ring”, says Lionel. 

Four years later, Lionel had volunteered to chair TF-CSIRT and has led the community through some changes. TF-CSIRT was gaining new members and growing, but, according to him, the Steering Committee at the time managed to keep it quite open despite the growth. The TF-CSIRT leadership had changed too, transitioning from the chair and the secretary having the ultimate say to having an elected Steering Committee with the responsibility to not only oversee the Trusted Introducer service, but also TF-CSIRT in general. 

One day Lionel hopes to bring his twin daughters, who are just starting school this year, to TF-CSIRT: “social event first, and if they are crazy enough to do the same kind of job as I do, then maybe to sit in the same room”. But for now, his wish for TF-CSIRT bright future and for the community to keep the openness and sincerity between the people who take part in meetings.

Listen to the full conversation here (parental advisory, explicit content):

An interview with Lionel Ferette