Life Sciences & Health Sector

Initiative by:  
Security Delta (HSD), Stichting Leiden Bio Science Park, Metropole Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH)
In progress

Leiden University of Applied Sciences, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, and REQON have published a report on digital security in the Life Sciences & Health (LSH) sector. This research was initiated by Security Delta (HSD) and Stichting Leiden Bio Science Park and was financed by Metropole Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH). It was part of the MRDH programme initiated by HSD to help important sectors become more cyber-resilient. 


 The researchers conclude that the threat landscape for organisations in the LSH sector is similar to the critical sectors in the Netherlands but with an additional focus on corporate espionage and international exposure. The risk awareness of organisations in the LSH sector needs to be raised, and the impact of cyber incidents is underestimated.   


The Ministry of Health has recently declared the Dutch healthcare system as part of the vital infrastructure, consequently enforcing legislation concerning digital security for healthcare. This includes the European Critical Entities Resilience Directive (CER) and the revised Network and Information Security2 Directive (NIS2). These laws aim to enhance the physical and digital resilience of the healthcare system. 


Vital infrastructure

The Life Sciences & Health sector consists of a diverse range of companies and institutions, encompassing the Life and Bio Sciences industry engaged in R&D and production of medicines, vaccines, biomarkers, and more, operating predominantly internationally. Additionally, it includes the research, development, and production of medical technology (Medtech), ranging from high-end devices for operating rooms and intensive care units in clinics to medium and low-tech products for home healthcare.


Both subsectors largely serve national and international markets, thereby driving the economy of South Holland. Furthermore, the sector's Health aspect includes many healthcare institutions (both curative and care-oriented) and health support services, primarily benefiting the province's residents. All these companies and institutions operate within supply chains of suppliers, service providers, and consumers/end-users, often transcending provincial borders.


Sectoral approach

Since cyber threats can target individual organizations and the weakest links in the value chain, a chain approach is crucial for combating incidents. As part of our sectoral cyber resilience programme, we want to expand from the horticulture and manufacturing to the Life Sciences & Health sector, reflecting a proactive stance in fortifying critical industries against evolving cyber threats.


This initiative represents a continuation of the sectoral approach of the Cyber Resilience Centre Greenport, launched in October 2022, aligning with our ambition to expand the sectoral cyber resilience approach to various sectors, and is supported by the MRDH programme Sectoraal Digitaal Veilig and Provincie Zuid-Holland.





HSD Partners involved