Increasing cyber threat poses a challenge for Dutch companies

The increasing cyber threat poses a challenge for Dutch companies. Dutch companies are lagging behind in developing resilience against new attack methods by cybercriminals.

For example, a resilience gap has emerged between the threat and protecting businesses, as basic measures such as two-factor authentication and backing up and testing are not sufficiently implemented.

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Research into cybersecurity measures among freelancers and SMEs

The Digital Trust Center (DTC) has conducted research into the use of cyber security measures among Dutch self-employed persons and (small) SMEs, both with and without an IT service provider. The aim is to map the current use of cyber security measures and identify possible areas for improvement. A total of 766 self-employed persons and SMEs (up to 25 employees) participated in the survey.

Results show measures that are taken

The results show that self-employed persons and SMEs are taking measures to protect their companies. About 4 out of 5 self-employed persons and SMEs have installed antivirus software and think they can recognize phishing well. However, some measures are still insufficiently taken, such as two-factor authentication. Only 60% of SMBs and 44% of self-employed have set up two-factor authentication on all business applications.

Freelancers have more insight into cybersecurity measures taken

It is striking that although self-employed persons generally take fewer cyber security measures, they do have more insight into the measures taken than SMEs. For SMEs, it is more often unclear whether certain measures have been taken. There are differences between the groups, such as having a call list for digital emergencies among SMEs, while this is one of the least adhered to measures among self-employed people without employees. Self-employed persons also test less often whether their backup works compared to SMEs.

Differences between freelancers with and without an IT service provider

Of the self-employed, 9% have engaged an IT service provider, while this is 64% for SMEs. It is striking that self-employed persons without an IT service provider more often indicate that they have tested their backup and made a risk analysis compared to self-employed persons with an IT service provider.

Importance of cybersecurity for entrepreneurs

Small businesses are indeed interesting targets for cybercriminals. That is why it is important as an entrepreneur to be aware of cyber security and to protect your company against cyber attacks. If you don’t have enough knowledge, call in an IT service provider. Continue to talk to your IT service provider about responsibilities, make agreements about risk analyzes and pay attention to testing backups.

CyberSafe Check for entrepreneurs

The DTC has developed the CyberVeilig Check for entrepreneurs with limited knowledge of cyber security. Within 5 minutes you will get an overview of what you can do today to improve the digital security of your company. You can download your own action list with practical instructions and tips.

Awareness campaign and campaign materials

Based on the results, the DTC will launch an awareness campaign on 22 May to encourage entrepreneurs to take immediate action to increase their resilience. If you want to start a campaign yourself or promote the CyberVeilig Check, view the campaign materials for inspiration and reuse.


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