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What is the relationship between a cucumber and cybersecurity?

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What is the relationship between a cucumber and cybersecurity?

The Netherlands is the 2nd largest exporter of food in the world. Imagine the consequences if that food supply was disrupted. Cyber Resilience Centre Greenport helps the horticulture sector enhance their cyber resilience.

3 min read 16 Jan Download text

The Netherlands is the 2nd largest exporter of food in the world, second only to the United States. Among these exported foods are 1780 million kilos of vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants. Imagine the consequences if that food supply was disrupted. In the Netherlands, 80% of SME's have been affected by a cyber attack. On a global scale, the economic damage of cybercrime is estimated at 11,5 trillion in 2023. The Dutch horticulture sector has so far no reports of serious cases of cyber crime, however the sense of urgency to improve cyber resilience in the sector is growing. To that end, Cyberweerbaarheidscentrum Greenport (CWG)(Cyber Resilience Centre Greenport) was launched in October 2022.

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Since its initiation, it has set up various services and programmes and helped numerous agriculture companies advance the security of their digital assets. Their experience can be a valuable source of information for other EU countries on how to help their agriculture community upgrade their cybersecurity.

Securing horticultural supply chain

The Dutch horticulture sector has been pioneering with new technologies for decades. This is fueled by its entrepreneurial and collaborative nature, combined with its vicinity to Wageningen University, the world’s #1 agriculture university and the worlds #16 best university of technology; TU Delft. As a result, the sector is highly digitised and supply chains are interconnected, making it highly efficient but on the other hand also vulnerable for cyber threats. As the producer of one of our most critical resources, protecting companies in the agriculture sector against cyber threats is of great importance.

“Like many sectors, horticulture value chains are digitally interconnected. If one organisation is affected, it has consequences across the supply chain.”

Anne Visser, Programme coordinator Cybersecurity and Resilience at Security Delta (HSD).

That is why The Hague-based Security Delta and Greenport West-Holland initiated CWG, which is made possible by a number of public and private organisations and universities. “CWG supports horticulture organisations with the steps required to advance the security of their digital assets and creates awareness for the matter in the sector,” Anne continues.

Support from the renowned cybersecurity community in The Hague

“The Dutch cybersecurity community is internationally renowned for its advanced knowledge, skills and highly effective approach,” says Anne. “The Dutch security cluster ‘Security Delta’, located in The Hague plays an important role, connecting the cybersecurity community across government, companies and academia. We proactively team up with cluster organisations from other sectors such as the horticulture sector. This way the members of the cluster organisations have access to the knowledge and expertise available in the cybersecurity community, which really helps them with getting their cybersecurity up to the required levels,” she continues.

Greenhouse

Participants in CWG have access to a number of services and tools, among which are a baseline measurement, current threat information, tailored advice, a toolbox and a CISO community that meets on a regular basis to share experiences and insights. “A recent development is the launch of the Royal FloraHolland Cyber Abonnement, a collaboration between Royal FloraHolland and CW Greenport which provides Royal FloraHolland’s members, suppliers and buyers information and tools on cybersecurity” says Anne Visser. This provides floriculture companies easy access to take the first steps enhancing their digital security. “We expect that this will lower the threshold and generate even more awareness of the importance of cybersecurity,” Anne continues.

At the moment, the number of participants finding their way in CWG is growing, as are awareness and investments in digital security. “More companies treat cybersecurity with urgency,” says Anne. “Our work is far from done, but we do have a solid basis on which to continue our efforts to secure our digital infrastructure and economy. We invite other EU countries to contact us and share experiences. Together we can achieve more and support larger numbers of organisations with securing their digital assets. After all, the supply chains cross borders,” Anne concludes.

Cyber Resilience Centre Greenport

For more information about Cyber Resilience Centre Greenport

About the Dutch Security Cluster

Security Delta (HSD) is the Dutch security cluster. It is a network of 275+ businesses, governments and knowledge institutions that work together on innovative security solutions and knowledge development to make our digitising world more secure. The cluster facilitates access to knowledge, innovation, market, capital and talent and therefor serves as an accelerator of the Dutch security ecosystem. The HSD Campus in The Hague is the cluster’s inspiring meeting place. The Hague is known as the International City of Peace and Justice.

The Hague and the Cybersecurity cluster

The Hague has a vast network of cyber security companies and government and knowledge institutions that form a solid cluster working on innovative cyber security solutions and knowledge development. The Hague has established itself as a major hub for cyber security in Europe. This is demonstrated by the presence of the European Cybercrime Centre Europol (EC3), the National Cyber Security Centre, NATO Communications and Information Agency and a wide range of cyber security businesses.

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