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Cyber security is your problem, NVISO is your solution!

The “Co.Station resident of the week” is NVISO

Interview with Kurt Ceuppens & Vincent Defrenne

What is NVISO’s core business? Who is working on the project? 

NVISO is a cyber security consulting firm founded in 2013 by 6 people. In 3 years time they have already grown to 30 people! They have chosen to work mainly for 3 industries: financial services, government & defense institutions and the technology sector.

They have three main specializations in cyber security consulting:

First: Cyber Strategy, where they help organizations define their security strategy/battle plan and help them implement it in a CISO-as-a-service mode. They help their customers to get everything up and running and then find someone within the company or on the job market that will oversee everything, while staying involved whenever specific security expertise is required.

Second: Cyber Resilience, which is about assisting companies to create secure apps, websites and devices, but also about detecting and responding to an attack. If you have been hacked, call NVISO! They have a 24/7 hotline and can deploy their own sensor to rapidly understand what’s happening and have experts that can analyze any malware you can think of. They come in, analyze the issue and solve it.

Third but not last: Cyber Culture (security awareness), which is about re-enforcing the human firewall, equipping people with the skills to develop secure apps and devices, detect attacks and prevent them – including manipulation or social engineering, such as the infamous CEO fraud.NVISO also has its own Research & Development unit, NVISO Labs.

You can follow them on Twitter (@NVISO_BE), LinkedIn and on their blog.

When did you get started and has the Business Model evolved since then? 

Two of the founders, Kurt and Pieter, were responsible for building out cyber security consulting for EY Belgium in 2005. In the beginning of 2013, together with 4 other people that knew each other well (Vincent, Erik, Daan and Maxime), they decided that it was time to bring their own vision to the market and founded NVISO.

They noted that the security market was rapidly changing, and realized that applying a pure consulting model would not work! That is why they chose to launch a hybrid consulting firm, combining not only advisory services but also research on emerging technologies and security threats and development of products they use to add value to their services.

Now that they have reached the required critical mass, they have actively started the product part of their plan. They are developing a service called Eagle Eye, which is supported by their security sensor that won a NATO innovation prize in 2016 and the RISE prize of 2016 which entails subsidies up to the amount of 500.000€ spread over 3 years! We can say that their Business Model evolution has been quite successful.

And then of course, innovation is also a matter of empowerment: they want to stimulate all their people to take initiatives. For example, to move all day, our colleagues launched an internal program including a Slackbot to motivate people to keep ‘fit’.

What is NVISO’s biggest achievement so far?

They have two main sources of pride:

Firstly, they have managed to hire an impressive amount of great guys and girls. That’s far from easy in security, as resources are very scarce. The biggest accomplishment is probably that in 3 years time they grew from 6 to 30 people, with people that are recognized specialists in Belgium and sometimes the world !

Secondly, the Cyber Security Challenge, a cyber competition for students to which 350 students participated in 2017: through this, we have motivated many students to choose for a career in security, and that’s something they are very, very proud of. Just last week, a guy working for Accenture came to Vincent and thanked him for the Challenge, explaining this is how he discovered how interesting security is, and chose that career path.

What are the needs of NVISO?

Hiring is a key challenge: continuing to find good people. Not only young graduates but also experienced employees to bring their expertise, help manage the company and most importantly to coach the people. They are looking for a good balance in the future. Moreover, NVISO expects to continue growing which will require continuous changes in strategy, structure and leadership techniques.

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