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National Cyber Security Strategy to make Belgium ‘safest EU country’

The Belgian National Security Council approved the ‘Cyber Security Strategy 2.0’. “This plan should make Belgium one of the least vulnerable European countries in the field of cybersecurity by 2025,” says Miguel De Bruycker, director of the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium.

The new strategic plan, covering the period from 2021 to 2025, and has six goals, which in Belgium is better protected against large-scale cyber-attacks. The first objective of the strategy is to strengthen the digital environment in Belgium. This should be achieved by, among other things, investing extra in a safer basic network infrastructure through the adoption of encryption and Safer Internet standards. There will also be increased investment in research and development and in the cyber skills of intelligence and security services.

The plan also aims to increase the knowledge and skills of citizens, users and network system operators. This will be achieved through cybersecurity awareness and awareness campaigns. Citizens also need to be informed more quickly about emerging and significant threats or vulnerabilities.

Vital organisations will be constantly informed about potential threats, vulnerabilities or incidents in cyberspace. Annual exercises should ensure that the current Cyber Emergency Plan from 2017 can be adjusted annually.

Work will also be done to speed up the identification of potential hazards on the network. To achieve this, the international cyber threat will be continuously monitored, allowing actors to be disrupted more quickly. The report states that all Belgian intelligence and security services will have to work closely together to achieve this.

According to the authors of the report, the investigation, prosecution and sanction of cybercrime should also be improved. Cyber expertise will be built up at all levels of police forces to make this possible.

The plan shows that cooperation between the public, private and academic sectors is also considered very important. The Belgian Cybersecurity Centre will continue to coordinate cooperation between these sectors in order to exchange information and experience. Finally, Belgium will continue to focus on bilateral cooperation between its own authorities and similar institutions in other countries or at other political levels.

“We plan to Belgium by 2025, one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe in the field of cyber security,” according to Miguel De Bruycker, the director of the Centre for cyber security Belgium. (CCC), which will be responsible for the implementation of the cybersecurity strategy.

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