Why we need more UK NL cyber collaboration

The UK and Netherlands should collectively invest more in infosec collaboration.

As a Dutchman who regularly travels to London, I can’t help comparing our nations every now and then. On the DLR into the city, it’s obvious there are big differences. Having worked for a British boss, I can distinguish between a proud UK management style and the more hands off Dutch approach, whilst having an appreciation for both. UK North Sea shores primarely face east, while ours mostly face west. Political consensus varies between both nations. And of course, we drive on the right side of the road.

But there are similarities too – there are densely populated areas on both sides of the pond. We all love football. And with regards to fintech and cyber threats there are similarities too. In the mid 2000’s, when the first wave of cybercrime struck financials in Europe, the UK and the Netherlands were among the first to be hit. Often, criminal gangs would set up campaigns targeting banks in both countries at the same time. With financial hubs in London and Amsterdam, the banks pushed the cyber security industry to the next level, and cyber and fintech startups in both countries flourished. For what it’s worth, we gained a lot of experience in building our defenses.

That’s why both countries have a relatively well developed security and infosec industries. Both countries have developed law enforcement capabilities, with the NCA in the UK and Team High Tech Crime in the Netherlands. The former works with international LE against organized crime like Dridex, the latter with successes in botnet and underground market takedowns, such as Bredonet and Hansa. Lawmakers, from both sides, adopt the same kinds of approaches towards building resilience.

And that’s fantastic, because criminial organisations are now interested in everyone. It’s not just criminals and spies in our networks anymore, activists and nation states have joined the action to make the internet increasingly unsafe. The UK and the Netherlands have a great opportunity to join forces. Our experiences align, our laws on the subject align, our LE aligns, and a flight from Amsterdam to London City takes just 50 minutes.

Eventbrite - UK-NL Cyber Security Showcase 2017

Eward Driehuis is Chief Research Officer for SecureLink Group, which has over 700 specialized employees across mainland Europe and in London.

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