Records posted by the Dutch government reflect that the Armed Forces budget for Dutch cyber operations in 2012 has been estimated at 2 million euro´s. A small sum, but still a considerable one in the face of ongoing budget cuts at the Dutch Ministry of Defence. The money is intended to reenforce the Defence department´s digital defences and to develop the capability to partake in “cyber operations”.
According to the published information, Dutch cyber operations capability will be developed in stages. Focal points will be the improvement of defences of its networks, systems and information, and the expansion of capabilities in Cyber Intelligence. The budget is listed at € 2 million in 2012, but the total budget between 2012 and 2015 will be closer to € 50 million. Most of the larger plans for the upcoming years are dependant on the sale of material and real estate, but the monies involved with cyber operations are small enough to have been allocated regardless.
One has to wonder though, with all that has been going on these last few years, what exactly will be done with a mere € 2 million for an entire year. This would pay for roughly 10 people and some hardware. What exactly will they be doing in 2012, and more importantly: How will they be spending the remaining € 48 million over the next 3 years? Sadly, this is not really mentioned in the budget discussions. All that is stated is that effort will be put into the new National Cyber Security Center that was recently stood up, and that there are two JIP´s (Joint Investment Program) of interest: One about Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and one only referred to as ´cyber security´.
Last year, the Dutch military CIO Maj.Gen. Koen Gijsbers held a speech at InfoSecurity.nl, a Dutch conference on information security. While giving only limited information, at least he was there to answer some questions. This year no such opportunity seems to be planned, which leads me to believe that 2012 might be a very uneventful year for actual Dutch cyber operations.