“As cyber threats continue to grow and attacks become more complex and persistent, our mission to build digital trust for organisations and citizens remains more valid than ever. Without the trust of our clients, we wouldn’t be where we are today. And having this dedicated team working for Approach, is a privilege for me.” David Vanderoost, CEO of Approach, reflects on the company’s 20 years of activity.
20 years of Approach, through the story of digital transformation
Approach was founded in 2001 in Louvain-la-Neuve and received significant funding from Michel Akkermans, a successful businessman and our current Executive Chairman. The company’s initial activities focused on providing software development and IT consulting. With the advent of Internet, the first threats arrived rapidly – we all remember the ‘I LOVE YOU’ virus – so cyber security was naturally part of the company’s DNA from the start.
By the end of the 2000s, Web 2.0, the first mobile devices and apps had arrived which increased the attack surface and cyber risks. Approach launched its “Application Security” practice, developed its own Web Application Firewall (WAF) and quickly landed its renowned clients such as NATO, international and Belgian financial institutions.
Early 2010s, the pace of digitalisation accelerated and cyber security gained relevance. Remember the famous Yahoo breach in 2013 which left close to 3 billion accounts exposed. In response to the growing cyber threat, new security norms and standards such as NIST and ISO 27001 were introduced and Approach concentrated further on cyber security with additional solutions such as services to the CISO, support for compliance and certification, pentests, audits, awareness and trainings. To support its growth, Approach relocated to brand new offices in the Axis Park in 2011.
By mid 2010s, with new regulations such as eIDAS appearing, Approach, capitalizing on its combined software development and cyber security expertise, seized the opportunity to work on new European digital identities such as itsme® as well as e-signature projects. Around the same time, Approach made the acquisition of a mobile development company and created a new practice to address the growing needs in governance, risk management and compliance, with the arrival of new regulations such as GDPR.
In the late 2010s, the organisation was in full expansion with a growth rate of over 20% and the opening of a second office in Antwerp. Approach received its first nomination for Trends Gazelles, thereby consolidating its position as a promising cyber security scale-up.
In early 2021, Approach begins its activities in Switzerland with new Joint-Venture EYRApproach and now offers its customers Managed Detection & Response (SOC) services to neutralize cyber-attacks, unwanted intrusions and ransomware.
Today, Approach is a respected cyber security and privacy service provider with more than a hundred professionals working across several sites in Belgium and Switzerland. With our 360° offering for cyber-resilience, we’ve become a one-stop shop for organisations of all sizes and sectors, from SMBs to large multinationals.
With new opportunities offered by technologies such as AI, IoT, Cloud, we are ready to support you to face the cyber challenges of tomorrow!