Constantly asking, ‘Is it still safe enough?’


Security is a top priority at VodafoneZiggo. A department full of specialists works daily with this provider of television, internet and telephony to improve the security of the networks to keep criminals out. Hans Nelissen leads these experts.

The year was 2000. The much-feared Millennium Bug turned out not to be the drama that had been predicted, but the ILOVEYOU worm lurked. This computer virus overwrote random files and embedded in all addresses used by Microsoft Outlook. The virus caused at least $ 5.5 billion in damage worldwide. Vodafone was then – for a short time – Libertel, a hip new company in the young mobile telephony market. Hans Nelissen started working there that year. “We were offering a few services at the time,” he recalls. “You could make and receive calls, there were text messages, answering machines and we started very carefully with data. Back then, there was little to gain on the telephone network for criminals; our biggest problem was people trying to call without paying. “Then we fast forward. Until the year 2022. Nelissen has been technology security Plan & Build manager at VodafoneZiggo for many years now, trying to keep his employer’s complex network secure. complicated work these days as the market has evolved significantly.and is still evolving.

A view of the future

Nelissen: “Unlike 20 years ago, people now control their entire lives via smartphone: from bank to connect to their company’s network.” As a result, many threats have been added. “For example, cybercriminals are trying to hijack corporate data to demand ransom for it. Hackers are getting wiser to this. Among other things, they do this by producing e-mails very quickly these days and have such a high quality that they can hardly be distinguished from the real thing. ” According to Nelissen, this is because criminals have a lot of money available and thus not only purchase advanced equipment, but can also attract really good hackers. In the future, these cyber threats will only increase, he expects.

arms race

Security is a spearhead in VodafoneZiggo. The company’s network is part of the crucial Dutch infrastructure, and therefore a team of experts, led by Nelissen, constantly monitors them to ensure that we can continue to communicate. This is already starting ‘in-house’ with a wide range of initiatives: from high-tech network security to promoting awareness among their own employees.

For example, VodafoneZiggo, like many other companies, provides Phishing Awareness training to staff, where such a digital attack is simulated, among other things. ” In the fight against hackers, the company has also added an Anti Phishing tile to the Outlook toolbar. If an employee suspects that a phishing email has arrived, he or she can press this special button and the email will be forwarded immediately to the Security Department for further investigation.

Nelissen: “The landscape is constantly changing. This means that we are continuously involved in planning and building: building and applying safety measures. But we also see live in our safety center if crazy things happen, so we can tackle the risk immediately. ” According to the cybersecurity specialist, companies like VodafoneZiggo are actually in a constant arms race.

“Hackers come up with new methods to break into networks, we come up with new layers of protection to keep them out. We therefore constantly ask ourselves if what we are doing is still enough, and do not blindly trust one security measures, such as anti-malware software or virus scanners, for example, we will increasingly use artificial intelligence, smart systems that can quickly detect and analyze abnormal events in our network so that we can counter an attack as quickly as possible. It remains a continuous process for us, because cyber security is simply never finished. “

Protect your business from cybercrime

It is important for any business to fight cybercriminals in all possible ways. For example, by making good backups very regularly so that if you get hacked, you can quickly get your business back on track. Or by, like VodafoneZiggo, also giving employees training so that they learn to recognize cyber attacks and know what to do in such a case. Read more about cybersecurity at: solutions / categories-solutions / security /

Also read: NIST provides guidance on cybercrime

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