Category: Cyber Security

Securance & Kiwa: Cybersecurity Solutions

Securance and Kiwa join forces on Cybersecurity and Risk Management solutions

Securance, a leader in integrated risk management and cybersecurity solutions in Europe, is excited to announce a new partnership with Kiwa, an esteemed provider of certification and compliance services. This collaboration will focus on ISO certifications and Assurance services, enhancing our offerings while maintaining our distinct expertise in our respective fields.

At Securance, our approach combines comprehensive assurance and advisory services with advanced cybersecurity measures to protect and empower businesses. By aligning with Kiwa, we aim to leverage our joint capabilities to provide more robust, industry-leading solutions tailored to the specific needs of our clients. This partnership will enable us to enhance our service delivery, particularly in areas demanding rigorous standards compliance and operational excellence.

Together, Securance and Kiwa are committed to setting new benchmarks in security, compliance, and risk management. Our collaboration will deliver scalable solutions that ensure business continuity and resilience, fostering growth and innovation in an ever-evolving digital world.

Koen van der Aa, COO of Securance, said, “We are very pleased to announce our partnership with Kiwa. This collaboration marks an important step forward for both companies as we join forces to enhance our services in risk management and cybersecurity. Together, we are committed to delivering substantial value to our clients, leveraging our combined expertise to meet the evolving needs of the market. I look forward to the opportunities and successes that lie ahead for both Kiwa and Securance.”

Marjolein Veenstra, team leader cybersecurity at Kiwa, expressed her enthusiasm for the strategic partnership, saying, “With this step, we can better serve our clients with complex certification and assurance issues. We relieve our clients in the process, allowing for a greater focus on substantive assessment. We are keen to explore opportunities to strengthen both our market position and that of our clients.”

DORA: Making the Financial Sector Stronger

DORA: Making the Financial Sector Stronger

As financial institutions increasingly rely on digital systems, the need for robust operational resilience has never been more critical. The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a pioneering regulation aimed at fortifying the financial sector against digital disruptions. This blog explores how DORA enhances the sector’s resilience.

Understanding DORA's role

DORA is a regulatory framework introduced by the European Union to ensure the financial sector can withstand, respond to, and recover from IT-related disruptions and threats. Recognising the interconnectivity and interdependencies within the financial system, DORA aims to standardise and strengthen the sector’s digital resilience across the EU.

DORA’s importance lies in its comprehensive approach. It mandates financial entities to implement robust IT risk management processes, conduct regular threat-led penetration testing, and ensure continuous monitoring and reporting of their IT systems. By establishing a unified regulatory environment, DORA helps mitigate the fragmented approach to cybersecurity previously seen across different EU member states.

Boosting Operational Strength with DORA

Operational resilience is the ability of an organisation to deliver critical operations through disruption. DORA significantly enhances operational resilience by enforcing comprehensive IT risk management frameworks. Financial institutions must identify, assess, and mitigate IT risks, ensuring they can continue operations even under adverse conditions. Additionally, DORA mandates timely incident reporting, facilitating rapid response and coordination at both national and EU levels.

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are central to DORA’s requirements. These plans must be regularly tested to ensure their effectiveness in real-world scenarios. Moreover, DORA sets stringent requirements for managing third-party risks, ensuring that dependencies on external service providers do not compromise operational resilience. By enforcing these practices, DORA ensures financial institutions are prepared to handle IT-related disruptions while maintaining essential services.

Better Data Handling under DORA

Data governance is a critical aspect of DORA’s framework, emphasising the need for effective strategies to manage data securely and efficiently. DORA aligns with existing data protection regulations like GDPR, ensuring that financial institutions handle customer data with utmost care and confidentiality. This involves implementing strong encryption and data masking techniques to protect sensitive information.

Ensuring data integrity and availability is paramount under DORA. Financial institutions are required to adopt robust data backup and recovery solutions, with regular testing to guarantee quick and accurate data restoration in case of disruptions. Additionally, DORA advocates for comprehensive data governance frameworks, outlining policies, procedures, and responsibilities for data management. These frameworks help maintain data quality, ensure compliance, and support informed decision-making.

Effective data handling under DORA also involves a clear incident response and reporting mechanism. Financial institutions must have protocols in place to quickly identify, contain, and report data breaches, minimising potential damage.

DORA’s strategic advantages can position financial institutions for sustained success and resilience in the future.

DORA and other Financial Laws

DORA is designed to work in harmony with other financial regulations, creating a cohesive regulatory environment. It complements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by ensuring robust cybersecurity measures are in place, safeguarding data against breaches and cyber-attacks. DORA also enhances the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) by reinforcing the security of ICT systems involved in payment services, ensuring uninterrupted and secure payment processing.

Furthermore, DORA supports the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) by ensuring the ICT infrastructure underpinning financial markets remains resilient and secure. It also builds on the Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS Directive) by focusing specifically on the financial sector, ensuring tailored and stringent measures for financial institutions. By aligning with these regulations, DORA ensures a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and operational resilience, covering various aspects of financial operations and data management.

Planning for the future with DORA

DORA is not just about compliance; it is a strategic tool that offers long-term benefits. Financial institutions adhering to DORA’s stringent requirements can demonstrate their commitment to operational resilience and cybersecurity, building trust with customers and stakeholders. This enhances the institution’s reputation as a secure and reliable entity, attracting more customers and business partners.

Implementing DORA’s frameworks can also lead to improved operational efficiency. Streamlined processes, regular testing, and continuous monitoring help in identifying and addressing issues proactively, reducing downtime and operational costs. Moreover, DORA’s emphasis on continuous improvement and adaptation ensures that financial institutions are prepared for future challenges. By staying ahead of emerging threats and regulatory changes, institutions can maintain their resilience and relevance in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Conclusion: DORA represents a significant step forward

In conclusion, DORA represents a significant step forward in strengthening the financial sector’s operational resilience. By integrating comprehensive IT risk management, data governance, and alignment with other regulations, DORA provides a robust framework for financial institutions to thrive amidst digital challenges. Leveraging DORA’s strategic advantages can position financial institutions for sustained success and resilience in the future.

Get started with Securance's Advisory Services

Are you ready to enhance your organisation’s resilience under DORA? Securance offers comprehensive advisory services to help you navigate this regulatory landscape. We can conduct a thorough gap analysis to identify your current standing concerning DORA and assist you in implementing necessary measures. Contact us today to secure your future.

Building Cyber Resilience with Assurance Services

Building a cyber resilient culture: The rol of Assurance and Advisory Services

In today’s high-stakes business environment, creating a robust cyber resilient culture is less about installing advanced firewalls and more about strategic foresight. For today’s business leaders, the challenge lies not just in responding to threats but in proactively embedding resilience into the organizational fabric. Assurance and advisory services are not just support mechanisms—they are strategic tools that transform cybersecurity from a necessary backend operation into a front-line business advantage. This blog post examines how these services integrate cyber resilience into business strategy, transforming potential vulnerabilities into competitive strengths.

The strategic imperative of cyber resilience

As the digital threat landscape expands, the nature and frequency of these threats evolve. Cyber resilience is becoming a critical element of strategic planning, ensuring that your organization can anticipate, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents. This capability is essential not only for maintaining operational continuity but also for protecting stakeholder interests and building trust in the market.

How Assurance and Advisory Services enhance a cyber resilient culture

Aligning Cybersecurity with business goals

Assurance services evaluate and refine your cybersecurity measures to ensure they align with your business objectives. This strategic alignment transforms cybersecurity from a cost center into a source of strategic value, embedding risk management into the fabric of your business development.

Developing a robust Governance Framework

Effective cybersecurity governance integrates risk management with everyday business processes. Advisory services are instrumental in creating frameworks that make cybersecurity a component of organizational governance, ensuring decisions at all levels safeguard your security posture without stifling innovation.

Ensuring compliance and adopting best practices

Navigating the maze of compliance and best practices is a formidable challenge. Assurance services not only help your organization comply with these regulations but also encourage the adoption of best practices that can set you ahead of industry standards. This proactive stance mitigates risks while enhancing operational efficiency and building trust with clients and regulators.

The challenge lies not just in responding to threats but in proactively embedding resilience into the organizational fabric.

Educating and empowering your workforce

Advisory services also focus on training staff across all levels of your organization to understand and manage cybersecurity risks effectively. This approach cultivates a shared sense of responsibility, turning every employee into a proactive participant in your cybersecurity framework.

Refining incident response and recovery

The true test of resilience is in responding to and recovering from cyber incidents. Advisory services help develop swift and effective strategies for incident management, minimizing downtime and potential damage, and leveraging these experiences to strengthen future defenses.

The business benefits of a cyber resilient culture

Incorporating assurance and advisory services into your cybersecurity strategy enhances your organizational security by:

✓ Promoting proactive Risk Management: Shifting focus from reactive security fixes to proactive risk identification and management.

✓ Creating a unified security vision: Ensuring consistency in security strategies across all business units and levels of your organization.

✓ Building stakeholder confidence: Demonstrating commitment to comprehensive security standards which strengthens stakeholder trust.

✓ Encouraging continual improvement: Fostering a culture of continuous evaluation and adjustment, which is vital for keeping pace with evolving cyber threats.


For today’s business leaders, cultivating a cyber resilient culture is essential. Assurance and advisory services are key to this process, providing the necessary expertise and oversight to weave cybersecurity into your corporate strategy effectively. These services don’t just protect—they enable your business to thrive in a digitally-driven marketplace, positioning your organization as a proactive, resilient market leader.

How Penetration Testing protects against Cyber Threats

How Penetration Testing protects against Cyber Threats

Understanding penetration testing

Penetration testing, often referred to as ethical hacking, involves simulating cyberattacks on your systems to identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited by malicious actors. This practice is crucial in a world where digital threats are not just prevalent but are constantly evolving. Penetration tests can be categorized into three types: black box, white box, and grey box, each offering varying levels of access to the system’s details. The process unfolds in phases—planning, scanning, gaining access, maintaining access, and analysis—which together help secure your systems comprehensively.

Navigating the shifting sands of cybersecurity

The digital frontier is ever-expanding, and with each advancement, the complexity and cunning of cybercriminals escalate. Not confined to mere opportunistic attacks, today’s cyber threats are orchestrated with precision, often mirroring the sophistication of legitimate IT operations. From exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for malicious intent, these threats don’t just challenge existing security measures but also dictate the future direction of cybersecurity strategies. By delving into the specifics of recent cyber incidents, we uncover a pattern: the only predictable aspect of cyber threats is their unpredictability. This constant evolution demands vigilance and a dynamic approach to security—a forte of penetration testing.

Techniques and tools of the trade

Penetration testing employs a range of methods and tools designed to push your system’s defenses to their limits. Common techniques include social engineering, where testers use deceptive tactics to gain access permissions, and vulnerability scanning, which seeks out exploitable weaknesses in your system. It’s important that a pentest is conducted by technically knowledgeable and experience ethical hackers. They use many tools such as Nmap, Nessus, Nuclei, BurpSuite Pro and many others, but the individual skills of our team are central to penetration testing. By using these tools, penetration testers can provide an in-depth assessment of how secure a system really is.

The organisational benefits

The proactive nature of penetration testing offers several benefits. Primarily, it identifies vulnerabilities and allows IT teams to remediate them before attackers can take advantage. This proactive approach not only fortifies security but also enhances the organisation’s understanding of its own networks, leading to improved governance and control. Moreover, by exposing potential security breaches, penetration testing can help avert financially and reputationally costly data breaches.

It's an essential component of a holistic security strategy.

Compliance and penetration testing

In addition to bolstering security, penetration testing is increasingly seen as a compliance safeguard. Regulations such as GDPR in Europe and HIPAA in the United States impose stringent requirements on data security, where non-compliance can result in severe penalties. Regular penetration testing ensures that an organisation not only meets these regulatory requirements but also addresses any compliance-related vulnerabilities discovered during testing.

Implementing effective penetration testing

For penetration testing to be effective, it should be conducted regularly—as technology and threats evolve, so must defensive strategies. Organizations should either develop an in-house team equipped with the necessary skills or outsource to reputable cybersecurity firms. The key is consistency and expertise to ensure that testing provides real value.

Real-world success story: Sony Pictures Entertainment

A notable instance where penetration testing proved invaluable occurred at Sony Pictures Entertainment. After suffering a devastating cyberattack in 2014, which led to significant data leaks and financial losses, Sony took substantial steps to overhaul its cybersecurity measures. Recognizing the need to fortify their defenses, the company initiated a rigorous penetration testing program.

The penetration testing team, comprised of top cybersecurity experts, was tasked with identifying any remaining vulnerabilities that could be exploited. During one of these tests, the team discovered a critical flaw in the network that could potentially allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data.

The vulnerability was linked to an outdated application that was not compliant with current security standards. The penetration testers simulated an attack that exploited this weakness, demonstrating how a hacker could infiltrate the system. This hands-on demonstration was a wake-up call for Sony Pictures, highlighting the need for immediate remediation.

Sony acted swiftly on the findings, updating and securing the vulnerable application and reinforcing their overall network security. This proactive approach not only patched a critical security gap but also helped Sony build a more resilient IT infrastructure.

This example underscores the tangible benefits of penetration testing—by revealing and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, organizations can avoid the severe consequences of a cyber breach and enhance their security posture significantly.


Regular penetration testing is more than just a cybersecurity measure; it’s an essential component of a holistic security strategy. With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, the need for robust testing has never been more apparent. Organisations must remain vigilant and proactive, utilizing penetration testing to stay several steps ahead of potential attackers.

Interested in ensuring that your organisation is protected? Consider setting up a consultation with our cybersecurity team. Remember, in the realm of cybersecurity, prevention is always better than cure.