Approach is a pure-play cyber security and privacy service provider. For more than 20 years, the company has been building trust in the cyberspace and helping its clients deal with cyber incidents. CEO David Vanderoost sheds a light on the company’s growth, the latest cyber trends in Belgium, and the perks of being a member of the Cyber Security Coalition.

How did Approach become a leading player in the field of cyber security?

Approach started as a software development company for the financial sector, developing the first e-Banking applications. Some years later, as security concerns were growing fast, the company became an expert in cyber security. This led to the development of highly secured software, such as the eID and the itsme application. Since the implementation of the GDPR, Approach has also specialized in privacy. We provide a range of services from consulting assessments, coaching and trainings to the implementation of security and privacy solutions. Our mission is to help our customers become more resilient in the cyberspace.

How do your teams support companies in their cyber security and privacy challenges?

Becoming resilient to cyberattacks means that you are able to detect an attack and react appropriately. This starts with anticipating cyber risks and threats, followed by taking technical preventive measures. You also need to raise security awareness and organize trainings for the people involved. It is critical that you are able to manage your security in the long run. Therefore, you have to appoint a responsible person for cyber security and data privacy. We then support this person by providing an emergency service for handling security incidents. Our team quickly mobilizes to help limit the impact of an attack and restore services.

How is Approach adapting its strategy to specific trends?

First of all, the awareness of cyber risks is growing in all sectors. From start-ups to the largest companies, everyone is digitalized, due in part to Covid (amongst other factors) stimulating remote working. For a lot of companies, this meant migrating their infrastructure to the cloud and substantiating to customers that their data is safely stored. As the demand for support is growing, our company is as well. We have a growth rate of 20% a year, and over the past few years have received requests from Europe, Africa and the USA.

Secondly, small and medium businesses usually cannot afford to have someone of their staff full-time in charge of cyber security. We can delegate a person from Approach part-time to help the customer manage security on a daily basis. In order to do this, we have expanded internationally, including appointing new colleagues in Switzerland last year. By combining competence centres in Belgium with local employees, we operate very closely to our customers, providing a “glocal” (local plus global) approach, with the ambition to become a European leader.

What does the Cyber Security Coalition mean for Approach?

Collaboration and networking are fundamental in the cyber security sector: to build knowledge, exchange ideas, and improve the dynamic within the sector. Our real enemy is the hacker, not a competitor. Focus groups dealing with themes such as awareness and privacy enrich our team. Gathering experts from different backgrounds to exchange information is both interesting and educational.

We also contribute to the Cyber Security Coalition by providing trainings and presentations and have put the Cyber Security Coalition in direct contact with other communities. We also support initiatives such as Women4Cyber aimed at attracting more women to the sector, as currently only 15% of cyber security staff are women.

Why would you recommend to other companies to become a member of the Cyber Security Coalition?

The Cyber Security Coalition creates visibility and awareness for the whole sector on an international level and organizes events with a lot of interesting content. It facilitates the connection with and collaboration between peers. By creating ecosystems such as the Coalition, we stand strong against hackers and attackers. Our mission is to make Belgium one of the least cyber-vulnerable countries in Europe. Being a member of the Cyber Security Coalition is one step in the right direction. Let’s all move forward and join forces!

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