Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Netherlands Cybercrime Increased by 127% in 2020

Officials Size Up the Reasons for the Surge
Netherlands Cybercrime Increased by 127% in 2020

Netherlands’ public prosecutor’s office, Openbaar Ministerie, reports that the number of criminal cases with a “cybercrime element” rose 127% in 2020, compared to 2019.

The prosecutor’s office reported, in particular, an increase in ransomware and DDoS attacks against hospitals. And it found that WhatsApp-related fraud cost individuals an average of $3,400, while spoofing attacks targeting users’ bank accounts cost an average of $12,200.

See Also: Top 50 Security Threats

The chairman of the Netherlands’ Board of Attorneys General, Gerrit van der Burg, warned that combating increasingly sophisticated cybercrime will require more investment by law enforcement agencies, The Daily Swig local news outlet reports.

Amsterdam-based Hugo van den Toorn, manger of offensive security at the cybersecurity company Outpost 24, says the pandemic is the main driver behind the surge in cybercrime.

"Physical ‘offline’ burglaries and pickpocketing plummeted as everyone is working from home; cybercrime numbers skyrocketed," he says. "Together with the rest of the world, criminals also had to adjust to social distancing and remote working."

Arrests in Patient Data Theft

Police in the Netherlands have responded by intensifying their crackdown on cybercrime actors

Netherlands police recently arrested two health ministry workers for allegedly stealing COVID-19 patient data from the Dutch Municipal Health Service’s systems and offering it for sale online (see: 2 Arrested for Alleged Theft of COVID-19 Patient Data)

On Thursday, police announced they have arrested five more men in connection with the same case.

Challenges in Financial Services

In a recently released international research paper, U.S.-based data security provider HelpSystems surveyed chief information security officers in global financial services firms about current cybersecurity trends and threats.

The paper found that the top three cybersecurity threats with potential to cause most damage in the Netherlands are: hackers gaining access to core systems; unknown threats, such as zero-day exploits; and increased working from home.

The research paper reports that 82% of Dutch financial services firms have suffered a cybersecurity attack over the past 12 months and about 88% of CISOs in Dutch financial services firms believe their company is using too many cybersecurity tools.

“Technology is a key part of cybersecurity of course, and no organization will ever be secure without the right security solutions to protect the organization here and now," says Kate Bolseth, CEO at HelpSystems. "But of equal importance, especially for longer-term strategic goals, is ensuring the right processes are in place and educating and training employees.”

About the Author

Prajeet Nair

Prajeet Nair

Principal Correspondent

Nair is principal correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. He has previously worked at TechCircle, IDG, Times Group and other publications where he reported on developments in enterprise technology, digital transformation and other issues.

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