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Evaluation international cyber security policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Results — Evaluation international cyber security policy

This page presents the main findings and recommendations of the evaluation of the international cyber security policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Contact: Wendy van der Neut

Introduction

The international cybersecurity policy of the MFA is aimed at preventing and mitigating cyber threats and attacks by states and state-affiliated actors directed against targets in other states. During the evaluation period (2015–2021), cyber threats increased worldwide. Digital attacks for which states or other actors are responsible are now a daily occurrence in the Netherlands and abroad. Although these attacks do not always attract publicity, their consequences are increasingly noticeable for governments, companies and citizens. In addition, a dichotomy has emerged internationally between predominantly Western countries (including the Netherlands) that strive for a globally open, free and secure internet, and certain other countries, including Russia and China, that wish to curtail citizens' free access to the internet.

As a consequence, the international cybersecurity policy of the MFA has become more urgent. However, as a relatively young policy area, it has never been evaluated up to now. This first evaluation shows that since 2015, good work has been done and things have been achieved, but there are also challenges and areas for improvement.

Aim of the research

The aim of the evaluation is to investigate what did and did not go well in the design and implementation of the MFA’s international cybersecurity policy, in order to provide recommendations for the future.

Results and recommendations

The main findings and recommendations of the evaluation of the international cyber security policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).