Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Blok and Timo Koster, Security & Cyber Ambassador, paid a working visit to Fox-IT on 3 July. During an extensive session with Erik Ploegmakers, Managing Director, and Frank Groenewegen, Chief Security Expert, the minister and the ambassador talked about the increasing international cyber threat, among other things. They also discussed the extent to which and the way in which criminals and state actors carry out digital operations (hacking) these days in order to achieve their goals. Discussions also addressed the role of proactive diplomacy and cooperation in the digital domain.
Following this session, Fox-IT’s experienced experts presented a number of practical examples of economic espionage, political espionage and disruption and sabotage of critical infrastructure.
During a demonstration, Ethical Hacker Sanne Maasakkers and Chief Research Officer Erik de Jong demonstrated how easily hackers can access other computers and their networks using spear phishing emails, for example. Finally, a visit was made to the Security Operations Center (SOC), where analysts from Fox-IT monitor customer networks 24/7. Fox-IT customers are immediately alerted through the SOC in the event of a possible incident.
The Minister indicated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to an open, free and secure internet by responding diplomatically to cyber attacks; strengthening the international legal order in the digital domain; and entering into international partnerships. At the initiative of the Netherlands, for example, the EU has adopted a cyber sanctions regime, which can be used to deal with the bad actors behind a cyber attack.