THE HAGUE, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch government has put forward multiple plans and strategies on cyber security, but often without allocating the necessary resources, deplored Dutch media on Monday quoting the conclusion of a study conducted by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies based in the United States.
The Netherlands spends less than 0.01 percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) on cyber security, considerably less (as a portion of national GDP) than other developed countries like the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and France, said the report.
Many organizations in both the public and private sectors are still struggling with how to replace complex and outdated legacy systems and many other organizations sill lack a sufficiently qualified cyber security workforce to tackle cyber threats.
Moreover, there are at least 20 bodies with individual and collective responsibilities for enhancing cyber security posture of the Netherlands, but no one agency has overarching authorities to ensure the national cyber security architecture is achieved, added the report.
The study on the Netherlands' national-level preparedness for cyber risks was commissioned by the Dutch government's National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV in Dutch). The report was released earlier on Monday in Washington. Patricia Zorko, NCTV's deputy coordinator and director of the Dutch National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) will present it on Tuesday.
The study published online stated that the Dutch government has set up a comprehensive national cyber security strategy in 2011 and updated it in 2013. It has developed a strong national cyber security architecture with military and intelligence services contributing to a whole-of-nation cyber defense. The Netherlands has also made provocative efforts to shape cyber policy discussions in multiple international fora.
But the Netherlands still needs to accelerate existing civil-military cooperation, increase dedicated funding, clarify the division of responsibilities among actors, and measure the true costs of cyber insecurity to the country, concluded the report.
The report was released at a moment when cybersecurity became a hot topic with the ransomware attacks that hit worldwide over the past weekend. In the Netherlands, Q-Park was victim of the attack. Dutch media on Monday questioned "are we so well protected, or are we just have not been attacked." Many suspected the latter.
As talks continue among Dutch main parties to form a new government, the report noted that all the four parties in the talks recognize cyber security as an important issue for national security and economic prosperity. "The new government should provide the Netherlands with a renewed opportunity to update the Dutch cyber security strategy and strengthen the overall cyber security capacity and resilience of the country."