Barack Obama, President of the United States, called nuclear terrorism one of the greatest threats to international security. With that in mind, he hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington D.C. in 2010 to draw attention to the need to secure nuclear material.

Four years later, 58 world leaders attended the NSS 2014 Summit in The Hague (after 2012 in Seoul). The venue’s network simply had to work. It had to be secure. For a cost-effective implementation, it needed a set-up that could be re-used elsewhere.


The site, had a number of small networks. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs had switched these off. It knew that only building a new network from the ground up would offer sufficient bandwidth and security. In collaboration with the ministry, Cisco Services worked on the high-level network design. It planned a secure wired and wireless network with mobile extension, plus IP telephony. Cisco PrimeTM was added for tracking and management.

Cisco Services also did the low-level network design. Together with the ministry it planned a Wi-Fi network with over 250 Access Points. A Cisco expert set up the security devices. Four Cisco Services staff joined the network operations center for the event.

“Knowing we had the help of Cisco experts gave us added confidence,”
Han-Maurits Schaapveld, project director, NSS2014


The tension climbed as the event neared. The NSS launched an application in place of a delegate’s handbook, so visitors could check location, program, and participants on their portable devices. And as NSS began, the app’s security was mentioned on social media. This sparked further fears of attacks, but the network held. There were no security breaches.

“We had 100 percent uptime,”
Bob van Graft, director of joint IT services NSS

The Ministry set up, in effect, a virtual embassy with secure links for the organization. Some 1500 delegates, 2500 press, and 1000 Ministry staff were able to connect freely and securely, with a Wi-Fi network that could perform at 450 Mbps. Wired links allowed some sessions to be streamed to press rooms. For security, the press had its own VLAN.

The Ministry also met its aim of re-using equipment. After two months of planning, the network came down in just two days. Van Graft says: “Most people plan a network to last. We planned ours to be broken up.


Fast Facts

Customer Name: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Industry: Government
Location: Netherlands
Number of Employees: 2500

Business Challenge

Keep network up at all times
Stop IT attacks
Reuse equipment


A good team
Good architecture
Many capable suppliers
Cisco networking, wireless, security, and collaboration
Cisco Services

Business Results

90 percent of devices re-used; 10 percent held in store
No security breaches and no downtime

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