20 February 2024
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Brainport Eindhoven is the first in the Netherlands to get a Cyber Resilience Center to help companies within the knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry with resilience against digital espionage and sabotage. This makes the high-tech region a front runner in the Netherlands that - in addition to the vital sectors designated by the state (such as healthcare, energy, port, etc.) - is taking cyber resilience seriously and is connected to confidential information from the state. Within the new center, SMEs in the high-tech region in particular can also connect to a collective, professional system against online attacks. Ultimately, the business plan for this new center and the practical experience gained can be used to set up resilience centers for the knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry throughout the Netherlands.
Over twenty large companies from Brainport Eindhoven already exchange (verbally) confidential information in the field of cybersecurity within the Eindhoven Cyber Security Group (ECSG). However, the highly interwoven ecosystem in the high-tech region as a whole will only be as safe as possible if all the players are resilient to cybercrime. The ECSG, Brainport Industries, Brainport Development, BDO Accountants & Advisors and the Province of Noord-Brabant therefore decided to jointly build on the expertise acquired by the ECSG to create a Cyber Resilience Centre Brainport (CWCB). A first user group is currently working on the further development. The center is expected to be operational by the end of 2018; an important building block in this is the pilot on information sharing and exchange that is being conducted together with TNO and the ministries of EZK (the Digital Trust Centre, DTC) and J&V (the National Cyber Security Centre, NCSC).
"The Brainport initiative has been embraced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change," explained project leaders Robert-Jan Marringa of Brainport Development and Sandra Konings, chair and initiator of ECSG. "Our call for attention to SMEs, especially in the knowledge-intensive manufacturing industry, partly led to the Parliamentary Letter of May 22, 2017, in which EZK indicated that it wanted to gain experience with cyber-security information exchange for and by knowledge-intensive companies, which had to be linked to available confidential government information. This led to the establishment of the DTC on 1 January 2018 as announced in the Parliamentary Letter of 23 September 2017." Konings: "The members of the ECSG are delighted to see that their initiative is now being taken up nationwide. They realize that the verbal way they share information is not suitable for a large group of companies. Therefore, together with other stakeholders, they formulated the need for an innovative digital Cyber Resilience Center; an accessible online environment for confidential, fast and, above all, real-time knowledge sharing tailored to their needs. With the ECSG as the starting core." Eventually, that already existing group will merge into the new CWCB.
According to Marringa, cyber attacks are a serious threat to all companies in Brainport Eindhoven. "The national and international examples of recent cyber-attacks are legion and the economic impact for a company and/or region can be enormous. Large companies like ASML and Philips will be able to withstand a cyber attack, but for SMEs that is very much the question." Konings adds: "Chain resilience is therefore really of great importance. Information exchange and collaboration are the key to cyber-resilience, as we are becoming more and more digitally connected. At the same time, entrepreneurs in smaller businesses do not have enough knowledge and resources available to be independently resilient. Within the CWCB, they too are enabled to better defend themselves against cyber attacks and/or to overcome a possible attack more quickly. Such a center is therefore an important contribution to the ecosystem of Brainport Eindhoven."
The CWCB's four main tasks are in the area of prevention (helping to prevent espionage and sabotage), detection (determining whether there is a threat and also indicating it), response (helping to repel an attack) and recovery (in the event of any damage, helping to restore and redesign security). The center will probably be a cooperative organization whose members will jointly ensure cyber resilience in the high-tech manufacturing industry in Brainport Eindhoven. According to Marringa and Konings, the CWCB will also contribute to improving the business climate in the region. "Where companies are given as much security as possible, they will be eager to establish themselves, and cybersecurity is a high priority. This will ultimately also bring new employment opportunities. In addition, the regional business community benefits from joining the CWCB because a company that has thought carefully about active cybersecurity is more likely to be chosen as a supplier. This improves its competitive position."