“I can offer solutions”

Gabriele Spini is a cryptologist at Cyber Security & Robustness. He enjoys using cryptography to come up with solutions to problems that confront colleagues in other fields.

“At Cyber Security & Robustness, we focus on two areas. On the one hand, we conduct research into the vulnerability of systems, improve the detection of security risks and draw up security protocols. On the other hand, we develop ways to make systems more efficient and resilient to disruption.

As a cryptologist, I currently focus on two focal points: I use post-quantum cryptography to look for ways to make normal computers resilient to quantum attacks.

And using secure multi-party computation I help to make data analyses possible while still protecting privacy. Such as combining resources in the medical domain or detecting fraudulent transactions in the financial sector. The personal data will then remain encrypted, but you will see the result of your analysis.”

PhD in CRYPTOLOGY

"I did my Bachelor's degree in Italy before going on to do a Master's degree partly in Italy and partly in Bordeaux. I came to Leiden for my PhD research. And after that I stuck around! The Netherlands is a beautiful country to live in and offers great career opportunities in cryptography. After my PhD I did a post-doc in applied cryptology at CWI in Amsterdam – and that's how I got to know TNO.”

NOT A SEPARATE WORLD

“What I like about TNO is the deep and interesting research we do here, but without this being a separate world. What we do is relevant to society and is immediately applied everywhere. TNO is also a great place to make connections with people from different disciplines. The nice thing about my profession is that I can offer solutions – the problems come from other fields and cryptography is often a solution!”

CONVEYING KNOWLEDGE

"It's great that I get a lot of freedom at TNO to develop myself. And to be of value to others. So my day is satisfying not only when I get a step further in a project, but also when I can convey knowledge through demos and presentations. While I am specialising quite a bit right now, in the field of secure multi-party computing I do cover the entire process from concept and development to delivery and communication.

I am mainly concerned with building up knowledge in the post-quantum field, which I then transfer to colleagues. In the future, I would like to focus on other disciplines, something that TNO also gives us scope to do. Would I consider taking the step from content to management? It’s something I’d like to try, but for the time being I’ll continue to give priority to content.”

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