Recently, BTG in collaboration with the Digital Trust Center (DTC), part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, arranged the Knowledge Café ‘Digital robustness for companies in the chain’. During a well-attended knowledge session, Jeroen Kasbergen, Cybersecurity Advisor at DTC, and Farid Boutiba, Relationship Manager at DTC, spoke with members of BTG about strengthening digital resilience.
DTC was founded because of the growing digital threat and the need from the business community to be informed about this. The National Cyber Security Center protects the Dutch government and the vital organizations designated by the government, such as water supply, telecommunications, electricity and dike surveillance. All other organizations, from large companies, SMEs to the self-employed, can contact DTC.
DTC’s mission is to make the Dutch business community more resilient to rising cyber threats. They do this based on the core idea that they want to offer companies independent, reliable information and an action perspective. Concrete advice with actions. In addition, DTC stimulates regional and sectoral collaborations in digital resilience, for example through knowledge sessions such as the Knowledge Café in BTG. “There is still a lot to be gained in digital resilience on the corporate floor, and DTC hopes to make a small contribution to this,” said Jeroen Kasbergen of DTC.
According to RTL Nieuws, more than 14,000 cases of cybercrime were reported to the police in 2021. This is an increase of almost a third compared to 2020 and three times more than in 2019. DTC also sees an increase in the number of digital incidents. Jeroen Kasbergen: “We see almost every day that companies are affected and suffer from digital events. I call them digital incidents, because it’s not just about crime. It is also about the business continuity of organizations and about ensuring that companies can continue to contribute to Dutch society. If an individual company can not process payments on orders, it is annoying for that company and its customers. But it can also have consequences for entire chains. It can cause a lot more inconvenience and cybercriminals realize this all too well and take advantage of this element. For let us not forget that digital resilience is a driving force for economic opportunities. For example, the development of new digital technologies that we can use in the Netherlands for economic growth. ”
Digital robustness is a necessity
If you want to move on as a company, you need to be in control of your digital affairs, and digital resilience is a key element in this. “You do not have to be a target to become a victim, something that not all companies seem to realize enough,” points out Jeroen Kasbergen. “By that I mean that many things that happen in the digital domain, such as ransomware or phishing emails, in 90% of cases are not personally targeted. The criminal organizations that send phishing messages are waiting to see who ‘accidentally’ clicks on one of their countless links. When you know all this, you will realize that something is really happening in the world. ” The National Coordinator for Security and Counter-Terrorism (NCTV) therefore states that the threat is high, and the Scientific Council on Government Policy (WRR) therefore warns that companies must prepare for digital disruption. Jeroen Kasbergen calls digital disruption a sadly heavy but justified term; “We believe that society will actually feel the pain when things go wrong. Such as. the cyber chop that caused AH in eastern Holland to suddenly no longer have cheese on the shelves. From DTC, it is therefore our mission to support and help as many companies and chains as possible, so that both companies and society suffer as little as possible from digital events. ”
DTC facilitates secure digital entrepreneurship
DTC provides general information to the business community. The DTC website contains videos, advice and tools as well as information on current issues such as current and new vulnerabilities. “But we also provide information on solutions that you can implement,” Jeroen adds. “Companies can also find this information on DTC’s social media channels. So good to follow this one! We also provide general information about threats. For example, vulnerabilities found in Microsoft applications or WordPress websites and webshops. There is also a DTC community: a free digital platform where entrepreneurs and cybersecurity professionals share information and knowledge. It is also the place to ask questions for help to community members who have extensive experience with this topic and can help with tips, advice, useful handles, etc. In addition, there are separate areas for groups of companies working together and for companies that want to share knowledge with each other in a fast and simple way. ”
In addition to the community, the DTC has also begun sharing specific threat intelligence. For example, the DTC proactively warns companies when there are signals that a company is in danger. Jeroen Kasbergen: “In this way, we actually try to encourage organizations to act and resolve suspicious situations at those companies. If you know that a person’s front door is open, then you do not let that person know immediately? It should not be any different for companies. We do this urgently and unsolicited. We are currently working on a pilot where we exchange (requested) confidential business data with companies. This allows us to more quickly trace the threat information back to specific companies. Hundreds of reports have already been made. It is nice to see that companies are responding enthusiastically and are positive about the information we can provide them. ”
DTC and BTG
Because it is difficult to reach all entrepreneurs in the Netherlands personally, DTC works intensively and closely with partnerships. DTC works with organizations that are active in an industry, region or sector. There are already more than 40 partnerships, including those with BTG. This allows DTC to provide companies with much more targeted and faster information.
Use the following free tools for your own organization and ask your chain partners to fill them out too!
1) DTC offers companies a variety of online tools for different levels. Initially ‘Basic Cyber Resilience Scanning’ you with 25 questions through your organization, according to the five basic principles of cyber resilience. If you go through this self-evaluation, you will gain insight into where you stand as an organization and concrete tips to immediately increase your resilience.
2. In addition, there are ‘Digital Security Risk Classification’. This is a further elaboration of the five basic principles. Based on 11 self-evaluation questions, you get an idea of your (business) risk and the chance of a cyber incident.
The ‘Security Check Process Automation’ provides insight to the entrepreneur and IT experts in operational technology (OT) in relation to digital resilience. This is a modular tool that gives you tips for the various IT-OT areas of interest.
You can also use these three tools to have a conversation with partners in the chain. You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions or have good suggestions for us!
BTG regularly arranges knowledge sessions and training courses for its members, including the Knowledge Café. For more information, visit www.btg.org.
Want to know more about digital resilience for businesses? Then visit the Digital Trust Center website.
Author: Muriel Mulder