SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to IT failures and attacks because almost all vital processes and systems have been completely digitised with no analogue back-ups, the Dutch counter terrorism unit NCTV said on Wednesday.
‘The Netherlands is dependent on a limited number of providers and countries. This makes us vulnerable to changed intentions,’ the report said. ‘For example, a large part of the hard and software is designed and produced in China and the US.’
In addition, little expertise is needed to launch a cyber-attack which could, for example, knock out gas, electricity and water supplies. The best way to reduce the risks is to improve security systems.
And while companies and government are taking action, they sometimes think the cost of the improvements are not worth it ‘until things go wrong,’ the NCTV said. The biggest threats come from China, Russia and Iran, the NCTV said, in a restatement of earlier reports.
China presents the greatest threat in terms of economic espionage while Russia considers the Netherlands ‘interesting’ because of MH17, the report said.