Netherlands urged to invest €833 million in cybersecurity

THE HAGUE - To ensure digital security and autonomy in the future the next Cabinet must invest an additional 833 million euros in cybersecurity, the Cyber Security Council (CSR) said.

This is the conclusion the CSR reached in their advisory report. The council said the Netherlands must invest in a long-term cyber protection strategy to be able to ward off future cyberattacks.

The CSR believes that cybersecurity in the Netherlands still has room for improvement especially with organized cybercrime on the rise. It also noticed a growing dependence on large foreign market parties. As a result, it is possible that outside parties can access vital networks and data.

“Investment into digital security must be at the highest administrative level so that it becomes a top priority”, the CSR stated. Additionally, information sharing on cyber threats needs to be improved. According to CSR, one of the most important tools to increase the cyber resilience of organizations and citizens is to inform them quickly when their IT systems have been compromised.

The council also advised that cybersecurity should not be folded into the portfolio of one single Cabinet minister. Instead, it should be the collaborative task of several Cabinet officials. “We are not in favor of a single Minister for Digital Affairs because it cannot work in practice. Digitalization is relevant to all departments; the whole society is digitized. In a lower council you can also ask people from outside to join the conversation”, said CSR member Tineke Netelenbos to the ANP.

In their advice, the council added that 14 million euros per year should go the Public Prosecution to be able to fulfill their role in tracking down cybercriminals. Public prosecutor, Gerrit van der Burg, said that criminals must be convinced that they will be caught in order to make society “truly cyber resilient”. 

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