Dutch companies are at risk of being brought down by power failures or cyber attacks because they are too reliant on centralised IT systems, the national head of counter-terrorism Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg has warned.
Aalbersberg told the Financieele Dagblad that many large businesses had switched too quickly to digital management systems without putting backups in place. As a result a hack or network failure could stall the entire operation.
In April this year national train operator NS had to suspend the entire timetable for a day after the software managing its central rotas went down, so that staff had no idea where they were supposed to be working.
Three years ago Maastricht University’s classes were frozen by a targeted attack on the central computers that managed its timetables, so students and lecturers were unable to attend classes.
Aalbersberg said the Netherlands was ‘more vulnerable than a country like Germany’ because of the way it had managed the transition to digital systems.
Companies also risk falling foul of new European legislation that requires them to have emergency protocols in place for digital breakdowns, which could lead to fines of up to 2% of their global turnover or €10 million.
Many businesses have failed to create back-up systems or offline administration because of a lack of staff or budget.
‘Many places have diesel generators, but they’re hardly ever tested,’ said Bert Hubert, former chairman of the security services’ oversight committee.
‘You should ask the suppliers of stock control systems things like: can I pull the plug on any given server? If the answer is “no” you can assume you don’t have a functioning back-up system.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.
If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to,
you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.