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"Cyber security affects the trust citizens have in government"

"Cyber security affects the trust citizens have in government"

Lourens Visser: "We want to bring parties into contact with each other and point them towards subsidy opportunities.”

Gepubliceerd op 10 januari 2022

Connecting and helping parties with expertise in the field of cyber security in the Netherlands: that is what the dcypher collaboration platform will ensure. This is important, because digital crimes such as data leaks, hacks and DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent and more drastic. Lourens Visser, CIO Rijk at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), is one of the board members. "Let's not compete with each other, but let's use the expertise in cyber security together as best we can."

As CIO Rijk, Visser is responsible for the proper deployment of ICT by the central government. Together with the CIOs of the ministries and the most important implementing organisations, such as the National Police and the Tax authority, he presented the government's I-strategy for the period 2021-2025 this autumn. One of the 10 themes is digital resilience.

People, process, technology

"Cyber security is all about people, process and technology," says Visser. "We have identified these as the three spearheads in the I-strategy. It's about resilient employees: how do we make civil servants aware of safe behaviour and, for example, prevent too many people from having access to sensitive information? Governance also plays a role. With the Baseline for Government Information Security, we have a basic framework of standards for all government organisations. And finally, an up-to-date insight into actual security is very important."

Regaining trust

Visser started his working life in the Royal Netherlands Navy and always had an affinity with ICT. Via major players such as IBM, Accenture and Logica, and positions as CIO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Judicial Institutions Department, he landed in his current position two years ago. "I want to organise the provision of information by the State and the executive services in such a way that it benefits the public. As a government, we are faced with the task of regaining trust. We have to be reliable and cyber security has an effect on that."

Setting up communities

At dcypher, Visser represents the government's interests. "As a government we need to be connected to the market and science. That is also a theme in the I-strategy: working together and promoting innovation." According to Visser, forming communities is a great solution for this, such as the consultation of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of large public and private organisations. "Within such a confidential environment, you can learn a lot from each other based on case histories. dcypher is the perfect platform for setting up such communities."

Using all available knowledge

"Getting to know and trust each other takes time," says Visser. "By organising events and other activities, dcypher can work on that. We would like to focus on themes that dcypher has prioritised, because that gives direction." As far as Visser is concerned, that is the starting signal for broad-based cooperation. "Let the government and the business community not compete with each other, but instead jointly deploy their expertise in cyber security to the best of their ability. It's a scarce market and we need all the available knowledge. There is work to be done."

Signing up and participating

Do you want to share knowledge from your organisation, company or educational institution, start a research project or contribute in some other way to one of the cyber security communities? You can let us know by sending an e-mail to


This article was originally posted at

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