Threat Assessment: Municipalities Need Better Cyber Resilience

by | 22-01-2019 | News

The growing digitalisation of municipalities requires an equally increasing digital security. The Dutch Informatie Beveiligings Dienst (‘Information Security Service’) has conducted a study to assess the Dutch municipalities’ cyber resilience. The outcomes: increase people’s awareness, strengthen the CISO’s position, and gain insights into new technologies. 

The report called ”Dreigingsbeeld Informatiebeveiliging Nederlandse Gemeenten 2019/2020”’ is a threat assessment report on information security for Dutch municipalities*. It gives suggestions about prioritising cyber security measures for the coming two years. The report indicates that municipalities are not resilient enough for cyber attacks. Therefore, it is necessary to increase awareness among employees and to prioritise security measures to further strengthen the cyber resilience.

Among the risks described in the report, the IBD states that municipalities struggle with mapping the risks and that cyber attacks are often successful due to a lack of implementing basic measures in the IT-systems that would detect and avert attacks.

“Municipalities indicate that, in many cases, they have insufficient insights into the risks and effects that endanger their information security.”

Increase cyber resilience

To increase their cyber resilience, the IBD advises municipalities to:

  • Put information security on the agenda
  • Strengthen the position of the CISO
  • Ensure proper basic measures for cyber security
  • Increase awareness among employees
  • Gain insights into new technologies

The municipality of The Hague is a good example of taking serious measures to strengthen its cyber resilience. They open up their IT systems for tests, are open to new technologies and innovations, ensure a strong and influential position of their CISO, and work closely together with third-party cybersecurity experts to continuously monitor their systems. For example, they invited ethical hackers to test their systems during the event ‘Hâck Den Haag’ and continuously scan their online footprint using Cybersprint’s Digital Risk Protection platform. Moreover, the Municipality of The Hague participated in the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November 2018, a conference that focusses on smart city solutions to increase a city’s digital security, to stay ahead on innovations and technologies. The municipality of The Hague is also developing a Smart City Resilience monitor together with Cybersprint. This platform will visualise cyber risks of all Smart City infrastructures connected to the internet.

Would you like to know how Cybersprint can assist your municipality or organisation to map digital risks and increase your cyber resilience? Contact us.

Read the report (in Dutch)

About the report

*The threat assessment report was published by IBD in December 2018. The report is based on analyses of 331 coalition agreements, analyses of municipalities’ incident reports, conducted interviews with Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), and other documents.



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