Safety inMaastricht

Information security

Information security relates primarily to the secure provision of digital and other services and the secure administration of personal data.

Safety monitor
2014 2015 2016 2017 2019
Victim of cybercrime total [%] 14 13.2 9.7 12.4 13.8

Municipalities, in line with other government and non-governmental organizations, are vulnerable with respect to their digital and other services — in particular with respect to the secure provision of these services — and the administration of personal data. Authorities that are unable to provide adequate assurances for the security of personal data put the trust that is placed in them in jeopardy. Moreover, this can endanger the physical safety of the public and organizations, for example when the operating systems of bridges and locks are hacked.

Cybercrime is a new and emergent form of crime that can have a great impact on safety and the perception of safety.

‘Cybercrime’ encompasses a wide range of forms of traditional crime in a digital variant and new forms of crime. Cybercrime relates, for example, to hacking computers to transfer funds to criminal bank accounts or to covertly activating webcams and/or microphones to spy on the user in his/her work or home surroundings. Professional criminals now pose the greatest threat to security in the digital world and cause the most damage. Professional criminals primarily target private organizations and members of the public in their efforts to steal details and data that they can sell on or publish. This can pose particularly large risks to small businesses: a ransomware attack can, for example, block access to its customer data and make its operations impossible — with enormous financial consequences. A market has developed on the Internet for criminal services also referred to as ‘cybercrime-as-a-service’. Cybercriminals who make use of these services no longer need the comprehensive technological knowledge that would previously been essential. A malicious individual can now, for example, launch a DDoS attack to block access to the service of a company or governmental organization. This is blurring the former distinctions between high-tech cybercrime, advanced persistent threats, and frequently occurring crime.

Members of the public and organizations are, in principle, responsible for taking measures that improve their personal security: this is also applicable to the digital domain. The measures that members of the public can personally take to improve digital safety vary according to their expertise and the nature of the threat, and sometimes require specific attention.

This clearly reveals the need for cooperation with various partners in the private and public sectors. Private parties are usually in the best position to take the technological measures that are required to improve security and assist the public, their customers. Municipalities are also in an excellent position to actively approach small and medium-sized businesses and the public.

Kamerstuk 2239602, 20 april 2018 PDF