Month: October 2018

Claranet acquires Dutch IT services provider Quinfox

Acquisition enhances Claranet’s capabilities in the healthcare and accountancy sectors

Claranet has acquired Dutch IT services provider Quinfox, a specialist in providing digital services for accountancy, healthcare and public sector organisations. The acquisition, which is the third acquisition that the Claranet Group has made this year, enhances the company’s market position in the Netherlands considerably and puts it in a strong position to pursue further growth.

Netherlands-based Quinfox was founded in 1998 has specialised on providing Hosted Desktop, Application Hosting and Professional Services. The company, which has 20 staff, specialises in working with organisations in the healthcare, public sector and accountancy sectors, and counts some big names in its customer base, including Danone, Baker Tilly Berk, Jeroen Bosch Hospital, and the province North-Brabant and the municipality ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Quinfox’s founders, Huub van den Bosch and Geert Mossink, will be closely involved with the newly-acquired company to capitalise on the growth opportunities it will bring. Geert Mossink retains an important management position within the organisation, serving as Service Director.

With an ambitious growth strategy, the Claranet Group has grown steadily in Europe over the past five years, both organically and by acquisition. The Group has annual revenues of over £325 / €370 million, employs more than 2,000 staff and works with over 6500 customers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy, and Brazil.

Commenting on the acquisition, Wiebe Nauta, Managing Director of Claranet Benelux, said:

The collaboration with Quinfox gives Claranet the opportunity to strengthen its position in the Dutch market. We now have more than 125 employees in the Netherlands, a turnover of €20 million and one of the widest IT portfolios in the country. Much like Claranet, Quinfox has cultivated excellent and long-lasting relationships with its customers, making it a great fit culturally. In the coming period we therefore, plan to keep the existing operation intact and focus on synergetic benefits of joining forces. This is great news for customers, who will benefit from our combined expertise and a wider range of services. “

Geert Mossink, co-founder of Quinfox, commented:

We are delighted to join forces with Claranet. Being part of a larger organisation with a broad portfolio of IT capabilities provides us with various benefits, giving us the opportunity to grow and provide our customers with access to more innovative services. We can now take far-reaching steps with optimum security and flexibility in our services.”

Huub van den Bosch, Quinfox’s co-founder, added:

Claranet is one of the most established and well-respected IT services providers in Europe and has a very strong footprint in the Netherlands. In our continuously growing market that is subject to constant change, it is important that we have the right resilience to maintain our position.”

Nation state-backed cyberattacks may take headlines, but the risk from everyday hackers remains most prominent

Actions of national agencies may lead to fear amongst businesses, but leaders must remain wise to the more common threats.

Last week, the UK government accused Russia’s GRU intelligence service of perpetrating four high-profile cyberattacks that took place over the last couple of years. While this latest development could lead to fears that nation states may threaten private businesses, it is important that companies do not lose sight of the biggest threat on their doorstep – the everyday hackers that carry out the majority of attacks they have to deal with.

Gary O’Leary-Steele, Technical Director at Claranet Cyber Security, said:

While nation state attacks make the news headlines, the complexity and frequency of attacks from all sources are on the rise, and attacks will often target the same vulnerabilities, whomever is behind the attack.

To ensure that they are adequately prepared to minimise the impact of cyberattacks, regardless of the perpetrator, organisations need to step up their vigilance across the board. This means implementing a cybersecurity strategy that emphasises not just reactively tackling incidents as they happen, but also adapting to the threat landscape by understanding how hackers think and work, and regularly testing your applications and infrastructure.”

Reactive data breach mitigation always has been and will continue to be crucial, but equally important is being able to understand the ways that hackers go about their business so that organisations can avoid being targeted in the first place, and can keep up with the rapid rate of change. In addition to increasingly sophisticated technical attacks, employees are regularly being exploited as a way into an organisation’s data, so security awareness training, including how to avoid phishing attacks, in addition to more detailed security training for developers and technical teams, must be a critical part of the protection employed.”

O-Leary-Steele concluded:

It would be foolish to ignore a growing prevalence of state-backed cyberattacks, but it’s crucial not to lose sight of the threat of independent actors, which will remain the most prominent danger for businesses for the foreseeable future. The volume and complexity of cyberattacks is rising substantially. As an example, over four in ten businesses (43%) experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack in the last 12 months, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in its Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018.

The best way for businesses to prepare for this is by making sure security measures are proactive as well as reactive, and regularly tested and reviewed. For most organisations, they will require the help of dedicated security experts to achieve this.”

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Claranet makes a significant leap on The Sunday Times Top Track 250

Claranet climbs 55 places in recognition of a successful year, cementing company’s position amongst fastest growing privately-owned businesses

Claranet has achieved the rank of 123rd in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for 2018, rising 55 places from last year. Published on Sunday 7th October, the league table ranks the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses in the UK. Claranet’s placement in the league table for the third year in a row comes during a sustained period of growth.

Claranet has developed via acquisition and organic growth to become one of the leading providers of hosting and cloud, network, communications, and cybersecurity services to over 6,500 customers across nine countries (UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, and Brazil). Claranet supports these customers through IT consulting, managed services, and training.

In keeping with Claranet’s desire to maintain its momentum, 2018 has seen further moves to expand the company’s portfolio of services and capabilities. This was spearheaded by the acquisition of cloud and infrastructure specialist Union Solutions in May, which strengthened Claranet’s cloud consulting presence across the retail, legal, and financial sectors, and the Italian AWS experts XPeppers in September. Additionally, Claranet grew its group cybersecurity offering by acquiring global ethical hacking training and penetration testing experts NotSoSecure in July and combined this with previous acquisition of Sec-1 to create the global Claranet Cyber Security unit.

Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of Claranet, commented:

The IT services industry continues to be an important partner to UK business success, helping them win against increasing competition across the UK, Europe, and beyond. Despite a constantly evolving and ever competitive market, we have been able to consistently maintain our progress through acquisitions and organic growth. What began as an ISP 22 years ago is now an expert in the migration and running of critical applications and infrastructure 24/7, and our acquisition of NotSoSecure this year means our cybersecurity offering is more comprehensive than ever before.”

Despite our growth, we remain committed to developing the close, trusted relationships that our customers need to succeed in the long term and achieve their own market-leading results.”

Claranet consolidates its security expertise with official launch of Global Cyber Security unit

New unit eases access for customers to unique capabilities of Sec-1 and NotSoSecure

Claranet has announced the official launch of its Cyber Security unit, designed to give customers access to market-leading information security services. The move represents a strong consolidation of Claranet’s current cyber security offerings, following the acquisition and incorporation of Sec-1 and NotSoSecure into the wider Claranet Group over the course of the last year, in addition to considerable investment in security services across the group, especially in France and Portugal.

Under the new Claranet Cyber Security umbrella, customers will be able to call upon the input of experts across a broad range of cyber security disciplines. This includes the pioneering penetration testing and managed security service capabilities of Sec-1 and NotSoSecure, and the training competencies of NotSoSecure – the largest supplier of ethical hacking training courses to the Black Hat conferences. The new unit ensures that the capabilities of both companies are aligned in a way that offers the best range of options to customers within the existing Claranet footprint and around the world.

Michel Robert, Managing Director at Claranet UK, said:

Security is a top priority for a large number of businesses, so we have worked hard over the last couple of years to really strengthen our offering in this area.”

Acquiring both Sec-1 and NotSoSecure has been an instrumental part of this process, but it’s also crucial that we’re able to leverage the skills and services of both businesses in a way that maximises their impact, while also maintaining the strength and prestige of each individual brand. The Claranet Cyber Security unit aims to achieve all of these objectives.”

The need for more comprehensive cyber security services is encapsulated by recent research conducted by Claranet, which found that 69 per cent of IT decision-makers polled were unable to secure customer data effectively, with almost half (45 per cent) encountering challenges around securing customer details when trying to improve the digital user experience for customers.

Michel added:

Cyber security may have risen up the agenda but getting on top of the latest threats and building a watertight security strategy is still a goal that many businesses are yet to reach. Getting there requires a variety of different skills and technologies, but many organisations don’t have the time or expertise to meet these challenges alone.”

By working with third parties with in-depth knowledge and world leading skills such as ours, companies can rapidly upgrade their security capabilities and benefit from a service provision that continuously evolves in the face of a constantly changing threat landscape. The Claranet Cyber Security unit will embrace this philosophy, and we are looking forward to offering our customers the highest levels of support to protect their data, applications, systems, and processes, with a range of services that will evolve over time.”