Dutch Cyber Security Under Threat

Dutch defence and security organisations, including the national police and the NCTV, are jointly responsible for the country’s national security, including in the digital domain. In addition to the sea, land, air and space, cyberspace is the fifth working area of the armed forces. The Netherlands currently largely relies on American companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Oracle for its digital services and these service providers often do not fall under jurisidiction of common European Union  surveillance laws. 

Consequently, there is growing concern that the Dutch government can no longer enforce its own privacy legislation and the loss of national digital autonomy is highlighted in a report from the Dutch National Cybersecurity Council (CSR).

Virtually all vital processes and systems in the Netherlands are partly or fully digitalised. Today, almost everything is connected, making it increasingly difficult to maintain an overview and control. "Our digital autonomy is under pressure and that touches the heart of Dutch society; cyber threats are increasing and we are becoming increasingly dependent on the digital infrastructure that is in the hands of a number of large foreign market players," the CSR Report  says.

To counter this development, autonomy in the digital sphere must urgently become one of the government’s central policies. The Netherlands must invest in its own detection systems for computer hacks for vital services which banks, telecom operators and water companies would then be forced to use, says the CRS.

This can be done by supporting strategically valuable tech companies, the advisory body explained. More public-private partnerships and an active role of the Netherlands in the development of international standards are also needed, according to Digital Infrastructure Netherlands Foundation Michiel Steltman. "Almost all cyber security standards are currently American. Large international players have a head start and without our intervention, it will only get worse," said Steltman. 
 

CSR:        NL Times:          TNO:       Livestorm:        Dutch News

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