Half of Dutch companies are afraid of cyber attacks

Three quarters of Dutch companies are switching to the use of new technology less quickly than desired. Scarcity of adequately qualified IT staff and security challenges stand in the way of digital transformation. In particular, the lack of a labor market appears to be slowing down further growth in the use of digital tools. Most Dutch companies say that they are not well (enough) prepared for a cyber attack and are sometimes worried about this.

This is stated in Monitor Digital Transformation, an annual survey conducted by KPN among managers who are responsible for the digital transformation in their company. In the run-up to the event The Digital Dutch on 21 April, KPN will assess the most important drivers, barriers and challenges in digital transformation. This year, for the first time, security is also included in this.

Security is awake
In the field of security, the security of customer and company data is of particular importance. Half of the respondents are sometimes awake at the thought that unauthorized persons can gain access to this. Knowledge in the broadest sense of the word is here the biggest bottleneck. It is especially challenging to keep security up to date. Almost all companies have concerns about IT security. Only 7 percent say they have no concerns in this area.

Research also shows that smaller companies believe that there is little to gain from them. 59 percent of companies with 5 to 50 employees do not consider themselves an interesting prey for hackers. For the upper end of the SME sector, that percentage is 53. “A misunderstanding,” says Marieke Snoep, director of Business Market and member of the board of KPN. “Because cybercriminals certainly do not skip SMEs.”

Do not neglect safety
But in recent years, SMEs have also come to realize that security should definitely not be neglected. Virtually all companies have taken steps to protect their computers, networks and data. Only 3 percent remain completely passive.

The initiatives vary greatly from company to company, but there is still room for improvement. The ‘most’ (41 percent) occur that employees need to change their password regularly. 38 percent say they are constantly working to keep software up to date. The third important measure is training employees in recognizing fake emails and phishing attempts (only 37 percent).

The impact of the pandemic
COVID-19 is seen as an important driving force for digital transformation of the respondents. Last year, 32 percent said they were forced to start with digital transformation, and the impact of the pandemic is still clearly present this year. 28 percent mentioned this as a key driver.

Snoep has seen digitization accelerate since the start of the pandemic. She praises BV Nederland’s robustness. “People have started working more together. They have more digital contact, and you see an incredible amount of change. Companies that had their digital affairs well organized have endured the Corona crisis better than the bereaved. Their digital capabilities enabled them to be flexible, creative and robust. “

High on the agenda
Digital transformation is certainly high on the agenda for larger companies. High priority is given to the use of new technology to reorganize the production process, to offer more service or even to refresh the whole business model. Many companies realize that their continuity benefits their customers, business partners and employees a ‘digital first’ experience.

Unfortunately, not all good intentions can be quickly put into practice. Finding enough people with the necessary knowledge and skills is a challenge for a growing number of companies. A large group of companies indicates that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with all developments. You will, but you can not. Only 4 out of 10 companies say they have no problem growing with this.

The digital Dutchman
Digital Transformation Monitor was conducted by Blauw Research on behalf of KPN. In February last year, about 650 executives working for companies with more than five employees gave their opinion. All participants were (co) decision makers or advisors when it comes to digital transformation. The questions about IT security were only answered by those responsible who had insight into ‘technology and process’.

The event takes place for the seventh time on April 21st The digital Dutchman place, like last year, completely online. In it, Marieke Snoep and Jim Stolze take the enterprising Netherlands behind the scenes of ‘the network of the Netherlands’ and, together with customers, partners and experts, consider the possibilities that digitalisation offers the Netherlands.

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