Northwave – Security Against Cybercrime
Northwave is the leading cybersecurity company in the Netherlands. The rapidly growing company, which has over 150 employees, has just opened its German Head Quarters in the business-friendly city of Leipzig, in addition to its branches in Utrecht and Brussels. Eileen Walther manages the Saxon branch and has been steadily expanding it since the office has opened in 2020; the first employees have already been hired.
As more and more processes are digitalised, attacks on important IT networks’ infrastructures are occurring more frequently. Information security is paramount. Northwave offers an integral approach to that complex issue. Experience shows that organisations affected by cyberattacks can have their entire infrastructure paralysed. Ransomware is often the cause. This is a nightmare for afflicted companies: employees are unable to log in and machines and systems no longer work. Companies and agencies often avoid reporting these attacks and instead seek the help of specialists such as Northwave. A computer emergency team is quickly dispatched to the site, which consists of forensic experts specialised in security who can limit or repair the damage.“We have been approached by an increasing number of clients from Germany in the last few years,” Eileen Walther recalls. “We have in certain cases also been contacted by cyber insurers and claims handlers who have had good experiences with us.” This led to the decision to set up a branch in Germany. The shortlist of potential locations included major cities such as Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin. However, in the end, it was Leipzig: “The city is very centrally located. Since we operate throughout Germany, proximity was a crucial factor. Leipzig is very well connected in terms of infrastructure. It is a liveable, beautiful city and therefore an attraction for talented employees,” explains Eileen Walther. Many companies in the IT sector have opted for Saxony as a location, which is also contributing to the pace of digitalisation and the availability of skilled workers. For Eileen Walther, being close to the Federal Cyber Agency’s headquarters at Leipzig/Halle Airport was also important. Before the establishment of the branch, Leipzig was already known for the Chaos Communication Congress, held here annually.
In order to receive further support in establishing the Leipzig office, Eileen Walther turned to Invest Region Leipzig GmbH: “Invest Region Leipzig was primarily in a position to help us establish contacts with networks. They have for example brought us together with local recruitment agencies. As the city is still new to us, this gave us a good overview. Invest Region Leipzig’s network of contacts was also able to help us link up with the IT Cluster Mitteldeutschland, an exciting organisation for us to be a part of,” explains Eileen Walther.
Northwave is currently working from a temporary office in Leipzig: “Our point of contact at Invest Region Leipzig is helping us to find larger suitable premises in order to keep growing,” says Eileen Walther. The location is set to take on 30 employees over the next three years. The branch manager is excited about the changes currently underway at the location: “More and more companies, especially from the IT sector, are moving to Leipzig. The boom is also drawing in a lot of talented professionals.” Northwave is primarily seeking IT experts or professionals with cybersecurity experience who have already worked in the IT security field. “However, we also welcome applications from students who are fresh out of university and specialised in security during their studies,” emphasises Eileen Walther. The company is also interested in employees in account management.
Northwave’s goal is to replicate in Germany the reputation it has earned in the Netherlands as a comprehensive partner for organisations seeking to optimise their security. Eileen Walther’s vision is clear: ” We offer intelligent security operations and aim to adequately protect businesses, both regionally and nationwide. An increasing number of German clients trust us with their security. That’s why we are keen to expand here in Leipzig.”