The growing variety of threats to IT security represents an expansive future for the Finnish company Nixu, who are making cyber security services to keep the digital society running.
Overlooking the sea in the Espoo suburb of Keilaniemi, it seems somehow fitting that a world globe is situated inside the meeting room at Nixu’s office.
“Our strategy is to be the trusted go-to partner for cyber security services in Northern Europe, which we define by the area north of the Alps,” explains company CEO Petri Kairinen. “Our mission is to keep the digital society running, making sure that everything is built in a secure and resilient manner.”
After spending close to three decades nurturing a local client base that includes
60 of the top 100 Finnish companies, Nixu began fixing its gaze abroad at the end of last year.
“Holland was a nice place to start,” Kairinen explains. “It is an English-speaking market, so we can provide support with the Finnish experts that we have here. Also it’s quite competitive, so it provides a nice benchmark on how we do against the competition.”
Now, after gaining traction in Holland, the next stage of Nixu’s growth strategy has seen it acquire Swedish specialised IT security firm Europoint Networking AB.
Rest assured this probably won’t be last time we hear about the company’s expansion strategy in 2016.
Such growth is nothing new for Nixu. Back when Kairinen commenced working at the company in 2006, there were a mere 15 information security people on the books. A decade later there are 170 ‘Nixuans’ and annual revenue has topped 18 million euros.
“We are one of the largest teams in this area,” Kairinen says. “Building up trust in this field is really important. Once you work with someone you get a good reputation, which helps going forward with other companies.”
Nixu has done so across three main target segments: corporate IT, digital business and the Industrial Internet.
“Corporate IT needs to protect corporate secrets, keep emails secure and the corporate network protected,” Kairinen explains. “Then, with e-commerce transactions, how do you provide extranet portals for your partners and how do you integrate everything together in a safe and secure manner?”
Finally, Nixu’s Industrial Internet protection portfolio relates to “industrial control systems, factory automation and all the critical infrastructure you have, and how to protect that.”
A secure future
Kairinen points out that one of the most problematic areas for cyber security across the board is the increasingly skilled and aggressive tactics of hackers.
“If a client gets hacked, or has a data breach, we start looking at the digital tracks left and help them recover, and try and find out what happened and if something was stolen,” Kairinen explains. “We also monitor the client network. We have these watch post technology sensors and notice if something is happening.”
Such pre-emptive surveillance is becoming the norm for companies. Simply building a firewall around their network and hoping for the best is not enough protection any more.
“You need to watch over and react quickly,” Kairinen states. “Companies will invest more in real time monitoring in the future. We are in a good spot.”
Nixu’s favourable positioning is also heightened by a new EU privacy regulation that was approved last year.
“There are quite big sanctions for companies that lose EU citizen’s privacy data,” Kairinen explains. “If there’s a leak you face big consequences. Companies need to be aware of what is happening – that’s business for us.”