Cyber Security At Schiphol Airport Is Ineffective

A cyber security audit  carried out by Dutch Border Police at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport says that the border controls in operation there are neither adequate nor future-proof.

In particular, the IT systems are subjected to very few security tests and the software for two of these IT systems is currently being used despite not having passed the requisite approval procedures. 

Handling almost 80 million passengers every year, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is not merely the country’s main airport, it is also a vital gateway to Europe and the European Union (EU), and Europe’s second biggest transport hub. 

The systems are not linked to the detection capacity of the Dutch Ministry of Defence and passengers are only checked at the passport desk and via electronic self-service gates, although travellers from outside the Schengen area are also screened with pre-assessment before arrival.

The importance of IT in border control is huge, and growing and digitisation makes it faster and more thorough, but at the same time, it creates dependence and new risks.

The passport counter, electronic self-service gates and the pre-assessment stage each have their own separate IT systems and the audit suggests that the cyber security of border controls operated by Dutch border guards at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is not as effective in practice as it could be. For the purpose of safeguarding the cyber security of border controls, the Minister of Justice and Security makes use of the expertise and IT infrastructure of the Ministry of Defence and Schiphol NV. 

Although the Dutch Ministry of Defence possesses the expertise needed to guarantee a high level of cyber security, it seems that itdoes not always make use of this expertise in practice in accordance with the arrangements madein its own guidelines. 

In the light of all the impending technological developments, it is believed that the current level of cyber security in relation to the border controls is neither adequate nor future-proof. Due to the importance of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and the huge volume of personal data involved, the border controls could well form an attractive target for hackers.

RekenKamer:         Computer Weekly:         Airbus:    

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