A never-ending race

Government and businesses are not doing enough to protect themselves against cyberthreats. Extra measures are needed to battle the increasingly professional methods employed by state actors, cybercriminals and other malicious hackers. The Dutch government and Dutch high-tech businesses are regularly targeted by cyberespionage. According to the researchers, improving cybersecurity should therefore have greater priority in the Netherlands.

The report shows that the Netherlands, one of the most digitalised countries in the world, is an appealing target for cyberspies and cybercriminals. The biggest threat comes from foreign intelligence services, which collect vast amounts of political, military and technological information in the country. In addition, cybercriminals are becoming more professional, they employ increasingly sophisticated methods, and their revenue model is proving more profitable all the time. Increasingly, SMEs are falling victim to their attacks.

The emergence of the Internet of Things is increasing our vulnerability to cyberattacks. ‘Smart’ devices are often inadequately secured, leaving them vulnerable to being hacked and used to carry out large-scale DDoS attacks. Cyberthreats undermine the competitiveness of the Dutch business sector and confidence in the digital society.

The report recommends that government and businesses strengthen their resilience against cyberthreats, for example by establishing an independent expertise and advisory centre for SMEs, improving the security of IT products through duties of care and liability legislation, and investing in cybersecurity expertise- and capacity-building.