On 6 October 2016 Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL, offered a report of the Dutch National Cyber Security Council (CSR) to Prime Minister Mark Rutte and VNO-NCW chairman Hans de Boer. The report 'Nederland Digitaal Droge Voeten' (literally translated: The Netherlands Digital Dry Feet) contains recommendations related to the strengthening of digital infrastructures and cyber security in the Netherlands. The recommendations concern the role of the Dutch government, the role of the private sector, and public-private cooperation.
CSR advices the cabinet to draw a unilateral political line as well as to appoint a high official for cybersecurity. This senior official should establish a multi-year action plan with an investment strategy to improve the cyber security. These recommendations are in line with the National ‘Cyberplan’ Investment program and the Narrative of HSD. Furthermore: the private sector needs to be stimulated to upgrade their levels of cyber security. Dutch citizens should be educated on the dangers in our age of digital connectivity through cyber security awareness campaigns and knowledge development within primary and seconday education.
The report recommends a clear role for the government in stimulating public private partnerships. The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is mentioned as a good example of a network that stimulates cooperation between public and private organisations.
Third Economic Mainport
The Netherlands has an excellent digital infrastructure and is one of the most ICT-intensive economies of Europe. Over the past 25 years more than a third of the economic growth is related to digital technology. In addition to Schiphol and the Port of Rotterdam, the digital economy is now the third main port of The Netherlands. This offers many economic opportunities and possibilities for innovation. In addition to these opportunities there are also many threats when it comes to the security of the digital infrastructure. Several reports show the vulnerabilities and threats of the ICT intensive economy. Inadequate security and outdated software are some of the weaknesses of our digital security. Cybercrime also poses a great threat. Herna Verhagen: "Digitisation brings our country a lot of economic growth and employment. Cybercrime threatens our prosperity. This is why we we have to take the security of our online connections just as serious as the security of our homes. We need to take action and invest in cyber security." The economic and social impact of these vulnerabilities can be profound. Strengthening cyber security in the Netherlands is important and starts with prioritising the urgency within the parliament, boardroom as well as our living rooms.
Verhagen also mentioned that the government as well as businesses should reserve 10% of their ICT budget for specific cybersecurity measurements.
For the report click here