Secutec is a security player in Belgium, specializing exclusively in cyber security. The company provides high-quality security solutions, guiding customers in the protection of their servers and data, or intervening when a hacking occurs. CEO Geert Baudewijns explains, “We ensure that our customers are always one step ahead of the cyber criminals.” 

How did Secutec grow to the company it is today? 

I founded Secutec in 2005. At the time, the company mainly consisted of McAfee experts, while our customer base was composed of companies who had followed us from McAfee, where I had worked as a Benelux sales representative. We blew away our competition with our extensive knowledge! 

2015 was a tipping point, however: we wanted to be independent, rather than ‘one of the many points of sale’ after McAfee was taken over by Intel. We were humble enough to understand that a company based in Belgium could not compare itself to world leaders from China, the USA, Russia or Israel. And thus, we created SecureDNS: a data source that gathers all detected cyber attacks in order to block and prevent hacking. To this day, this product is unique in Belgium. It has also created new opportunities and services: we can easily resolve gaps in a company’s cyber security, and respond quickly and adequately to hacking incidents. 

You are an expert in responding to hacking incidents, acting as a professional negotiator. What does this job entail? 

I operate as an intermediary between hackers and victim. There are two types of cyber criminals. ‘Street criminals’ tend to be small groups that demand between 20-50,000 dollars in ransom. Negotiations normally take up to 5 days, and the conversations are quite personal: where are you, what are you going to do with the money, do you have any kids …  

Then you have the well-organized criminal organizations: large groups of people who are invested fulltime in hacking. Ransoms can be up to 30 million dollars. These hackers don’t allow any supplementary questions during the negotiations, which can take up to 6 weeks. The government assigned me the role of negotiator. I pass on information about the hackings in exchange for the authorization to arrange money transfers to criminal organizations, which otherwise is still illegal, of course. 

What is your company’s primary focus currently? 

Cyber security has two key areas of focus: how can someone hack into a company, and what can they then do or access? Too many companies, especially those with fewer than 500 users, still do not use the right tools to secure their network and to detect attacks. We help secure their crown jewels (the servers) in a way that detects how a hacker works. This way, we should always be one step ahead of the hackers. 

Nowadays, companies require more than advice: they need a partner to step onto the battlefield with them. As an integrator, you can sell big deals: hundreds of servers, thousands of computers. But the customer is never going to thank you for this. Secutec saves companies from the abyss – and the appreciation is overwhelming. That’s why we are transitioning completely from an integrator to a solution provider. 

What is the added value of the Cyber Security Coalition for you and your company? 

We enrolled two years ago because we felt duty-bound, but in a positive way. You can only grow within your profession by sharing information with people who have the same passion: inspiring and learning from each other. We have to work together instead of competing against one another. This is what the Cyber Security Coalition allows us to do on a daily basis. The most underestimated advantage of the Coalition is that it brings together private and public companies in a convivial way. 

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