In a world where digitalization has become the norm rather than the exception, security threats can no longer be mitigated by physical measures only. In fact, the future of supply chains is dependent on technological developments of digitalization. Data security is central to the existence of supply chains as a whole, and it is thus essential to protect vital data. However, protection also has its downsides. Implement too many protective measures, and it hinders developments; companies would no longer be able to function.

This thesis describes the qualitative research done on an extreme case of the need for data protection: protecting the confidentiality of government classified information. Such information is occasionally shared with defense industry companies, who are held to protect it against unauthorized access by remaining compliant with pre-set national rules. As any cross- border interaction increases the threat to data security, defense companies particularly feel an impact on their operations of these data confidentiality rules when operating internationally.

By means of a single case study of the Dutch defense industry and making use of interviews held with industry companies as well as with Dutch government representatives, the following research question was investigated: “How can the impact of the restrictive nature of government-imposed data confidentiality rules, on a defense firm’s sourcing of international knowledge and skill, be minimized?”

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R. Zuidwijk (Rob), R. Tusveld (Ruud)
Customs and Supply Chain Compliance
Rotterdam School of Management

L.P.J. van Kan-Janson (Loes). (2023, March 26). Internationalization under national restrictions. Data confidentiality in the case of the Dutch defense domain. Customs and Supply Chain Compliance. Retrieved from