Press Release

The Belgian Council of Ministers gives the green light to the very first National Cyber Emergency Response Plan

As part of its crisis management remit In the event of cyber incidents, the Centre for Cyber Security Belgium (CCB) has drawn up a National Cyber Plan in conjunction with the federal government's Coordination and Crisis Centre.

The plan provides a structure for responding to cybersecurity crises and incidents that need to be coordinated and managed at national level.

The plan describes the duties to be performed by the various federal public services when dealing with cybersecurity crises and incidents. In the event of attacks on sectors including finance, energy, transport and the various federal public services, among others, the competent authorities must follow clearly defined damage-avoidance or limitation procedures.

Prime Minister Charles Michel: "The number of reports of cyber attacks and actual incidents is rising. The emergency response plan contains clear agreements for all the services involved in crisis management. If sectors fall victim to a cyber attack, the competent authorities know how they have to react."

The number of cyber incidents has risen dramatically in recent years and constitutes a real threat. According to the Federal Cyber Emergency Team (aka Computer Emergency Response Team, or, in 2016 an average of 1,300 cyber incidents was reported every month.

Prime Minister Charles Michel:  "Speed and efficiency are essential in the event of a cyber attack. An emergency plan is more urgently needed than ever to guarantee our citizens' safety. So the government is taking full responsibility and endeavouring to prevent or limit the consequences of such incidents as far as possible."

The Council of Ministers has also given a green light to a memorandum of understanding with NATO on cooperation on cyber defence.

Defence Minister Steven Vandeput:  "Today we have taken an important step by signing the cooperation agreement on cyber defence. Just as NATO already intervenes if an ally is physically attacked, from now on it will also intervene if our country falls victim to a cyber attack."