The digital transformation of the last 20 years has been a great driver of growth and competitiveness for Belgian companies. By digitising their organisation and production methods, companies in Belgium have been able to reduce their investment costs, optimise their processes and get closer to their customers.

As a result of this exponential transformation, increasingly connected and interdependent systems are increasing the vulnerable surface of organizations and creating new challenges: the implementation of cybersecurity measures to protect their activities and investments.

What is cybersecurity ?

Cybersecurity refers to the set of measures and tools to protect your data and IT assets. On the one hand, it includes technologies such as backup, authentication, updating or encryption. And on the other hand, best practices such as awareness, vigilance, surveillance or confidentiality.

Why is this important ?

Cybersecurity is important because, above all, it preserves the value of your business and ensures the continuity and development of your activities.
To better understand the importance of cybersecurity to your organization, consider at least two aspects: reducing risk and seizing opportunities.

Risk management

Your protective measures should be proportionate to the risks you want to mitigate. Always be pragmatic. Asking yourself certain questions naturally helps to better identify risks and priorities from the point of view of the precautionary measures to be put in place:

What is the most important data you have? Your accounting? Your customer listing? Your contracts or legal documents? The years of exchanges and information in your inbox? The HR database that pays your employees' salaries?

  • If some of your data is more important than others, it certainly deserves to be better protected. Start by protecting the accounts that access this data with passwords that are long enough, unique, and secret. A two-factor authentication system using a verification code sent by SMS or email, for example, significantly increases the security of your information with less effort. 

What would you do if this data were blocked, lost or leaked? Could your business continue to operate without this data? How much time and money do you think you'll have to spend to get back to a stable situation?

  • If your data is essential, make backup copies of it as regularly as possible to ensure that you keep it available and up-to-date at all times. Encrypting backups and keeping multiple copies in safe places further minimizes the risk of data loss.

Besides, who could attack you? What are the reasons that might make you a target? What do you have in your possession that would be of interest to a hacker?

  • Despite the headlines, most attacks are launched by malicious opportunists looking for targets and easy profits, such as small organizations that are vulnerable due to a lack of real security measures. Some attacks are even the result of 'indiscriminate' phishing campaigns sent en masse to lists of email addresses that have been leaked. Pay attention to the links and attachments you receive and keep your antivirus and software up to date. This already provides you with basic protection against the most common threats. Installing firewall software also drastically increases your protection against possible external threats.

And who can help you?

  • Lack of time, resources, knowledge, skills or turnkey solutions are the main reasons cited by organizations as obstacles to the implementation of concrete actions. The Safeonweb@work platform aims first and foremost to support all companies and organisations in Belgium in the implementation of their cybersecurity measures by providing practical, concrete and achievable recommendations for all. Find out below where to start and how to go further.

If you think you need an external service provider to help you, the government also provides you with a range of subsidies to support you financially in your efforts. Below and under this link you will find the list of subsidies available for your organisation.

Opportunity management

While cybersecurity allows you to protect your investments and what matters most to you, it also represents an important opportunity for companies and entrepreneurs who will know how to make it an asset of trust.

A good level of cybersecurity can have a very real impact on your business. Purchasing decisions are increasingly influenced by the reliability of a company and its data protection measures. You've probably already noticed that consumers buy more if they are assured that a website is secure or that your potential customers are increasingly attentive to the protection of their data during RFPs or pre-sales discussions. As a result, a consumer's choice for a product or service now increasingly depends on the supplier's ability to secure the data entrusted to them.

Companies that are able to master data protection and increase their resilience in the event of cyberattacks will be the ones most likely to gain consumer trust and customer loyalty. Having become a crucial differentiating factor, a good level of cybersecurity helps strengthen your company's image in the market, stand out from your competitors and attract investment.

Finally, we also invite you to take a very pragmatic look at the cost/benefit ratio and the return on investment that cybersecurity can have on your budget. How much can a door lock or the intervention of a locksmith cost, for example, given the price of all your equipment? Similarly, how much can an antivirus or backup system cost compared to your years of work? You'll certainly realize that your spending on mitigating risk more than outweighs the potential savings you'll make by mitigating those risks.

Where to start ?

While the amount of new information may seem daunting, Safeonweb@work offers a range of free, publicly available services to help you identify your first areas of action and quickly increase your organization's cybersecurity.

Know where you stand so you know where to start

Our Self-Assessment form allows you to assess your level of cybersecurity maturity in a few minutes and identify your areas for attention or improvement.

At the end of our questionnaire, your answers to a series of questions about the measures already in place will give you a clear overview of your situation and a list of practical and concrete recommendations to improve your protective measures.

By completing the questionnaire, you will also have the opportunity to compare your results completely anonymously with those of organizations of the same size working in the same industry.

Rapidly increase your organization's cybersecurity

Whether you're a small organization or have limited resources, our 6 basic steps allow you to quickly increase your organization's level of protection against the most common threats, without prior knowledge or technical prerequisites.

Easily define a first approach

To support you in the implementation of your first cybersecurity measures, we provide you with an initial reference document template to help you identify: what basic rules to put in place in your organization, how to approach the subject simply with your employees or which services or improvements to request from your IT service provider.

Protecting your organization

Identifying potential vulnerabilities in your organization allows you to anticipate and remediate any security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a hacker during a cyberattack. Register your organization on our Portal and receive a vulnerability report of your assets directly.

How to go further ?

Our articles by topic

Top advice

Whether you're looking for useful information on a cybersecurity topic or actionable recommendations on an issue you're experiencing, we've put together a list of articles with the best tips to keep your organization cyber safe.

Our "Top Tips" articles teach you how to manage your backups, passwords, updates, or how to deal with cyberattacks, among other things.

Common threats

You can also find our articles on the most common threats that can impact your organization and its activities: website hacking, computer virus, phishing or ransomware. For each threat, learn how to identify it, how to protect yourself from it, and how to respond.

Our reference document templates

Policy templates

Do you want to define, deploy or improve your cybersecurity strategy? Because writing reference materials takes time and resources, we provide you with our policy templates free of charge to get you started quickly. All our documents are editable in order to best match the context and needs of your organization.

How to get help ?

Mobilizing skills and financial resources can be a major obstacle for organizations with limited resources.
The public authorities are well aware of this and provide you with a series of subsidies at national and
regional level in order to financially support your organisation in the implementation of its protection

Find out what support measures you can benefit from