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