Keeping SME's Safe from Cyber-Threats
The COSTAR mission is to make the European critical economic infrastructure of SMEs less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It will do this by monitoring the health of SME infrastructure and providing remedial action to assist SMEs in making safe use of the Internet and protection of their digital businesses. It will provision managed cyber-security services in all European member states. At the same time, it will provide tailored information (statistics, forensics, metrics and evidence) to each of the relevant European stakeholders in the ecosystem and actively participate in the criminal justice and police systems.
The Nerdy Nate Story
“Every Friday lunchtime, when most of us were off to the pub for a pint and a bag of crisps, Nerdy Nate used to run a few tests on our office PCs. Nate used a remote desktop connection to the PCs and ran a mixture of anti-virus and malware removal tools of his own design. He reckoned that our company was unlikely to succumb to a cyber-attack because of his close attention and skills. Over the years, Nerdy Nate was successful in keeping our company safe. However, one day, we got into financial difficulties and had to lay off some staff, including Nate, who had no direct contribution to our profits. Now, a month later, disaster has struck and our company has been hit by a devastating cyber attack, potentially closing our business down. What should we do?”
History of COSTAR
The initiation and preparations of COSTAR was started in November 2011 by its five founders: Ronny Bjones, Pieter Hartel, Katja Van Hoever, Arthur Leijtens and Daan Velthausz. In April 2013, COSTAR was adopted as an incubation project of the “Trust in Digital Life vzw”. Trust in Digital Life is a European non-profit organization with the goal to improve the trustworthiness of the digital world, stimulating leading edge industry to develop and deploy innovative ICT solutions and to create awareness at consumers and enterprises to accelerate the adoption of these technologies. The TDL members, consisting of global industry parties, consumer organizations, and knowledge institutes, have in depth knowledge of trustworthy ICT and the related legal frameworks.
COSTAR is collaborative
COSTAR will be Complementary to traditional virus scans and fully compliant with privacy regulations.
COSTAR will monitor Internet devices on potential intrusions from out- or inside your organization that can not be traced with virus scan software.
COSTAR’s Security Information Event management solution will collect incident-related data and ideally events that are cross checked with the COSTAR vulnerability database. Trends and patterns will be analysed for the definition of new counter measures, improvement advice for OS to OEM’ers and Software providers and to support formal authorities for prosecution of criminals.
COSTAR will work closely together with CERT-organizations, police and other service providers and interexchange data within the boundaries of the European privacy regulations.
Unique Cyber-Security Service for Small and Medium Enterprises
COSTAR is an independent provider of cyber security services to SME’s in order to stay healthy on the Internet.
COSTAR will register and coordinate incidents, reported by SME’s and provide counter measures to the SME’s to protect against Cyber attacks.
COSTAR will be available in all European member states with native speaking help desk employees, proving immediate support to reduce the risk and damage of a cyber attack.
One single service point for the SME per country enables incident and coordination with other service providers, whether it’s a bank, mobile operator, or an ISP no matter which internet device is used.
COSTAR will check the health status of any Internet device and monitors the risks of cyber attack. Online support will be provided to clean up devices with secure software patches where possible.
Who are we?
COSTAR is a Not For Profit organisation and the result of a “Trust in Digital Life” incubator project, generating new business for and by SMEs.
Arthur Leijtens has a master degree in Information Science. With his roots in the telecom industry where he worked for 10 years for Ericsson, Arthur started in 2002 his own company Bicore. Bicore is specialized in portfolio management and developer of the PPM application FLIGHTMAP which is used by global leading industry parties. Besides his job as CEO for Bicore, Arthur entrepreneurs in cyber security as operational director of the Trust in Digital Life association (TDL). Arthur is the creator of COSTAR to support SME’s in combatting cyber threats and leads the business development of this TDL spin-off. Arthur has an extensive track record in consortium building and fundraising for innovation initiatives and technology spin-offs in the ICT and Hightech industry markets.
Jon Shamah is a graduate of Southampton University, specialising in Aeronautics & Astronautics. Jon is a digital Identity & Trust Subject Matter Expert specialised in strategically maximising the technology and operational value chain of very large scale eID schemes, critical national infrastructures and national programmes. He has a passion for growing the SME sector within the Digital Economy. Jon received the 2009 EEMA Fellowship Award for Services to European e-identity, and is the Chairman of EEMA and contributes to European Programs such as SSEDIC, STORK2.0, ECIM, CloudforEurope and FutureID.
Daan Velthausz, has a PhD in Computer Science, and is co-founder of two companies: InVivio and Maraxis and is an executive consultant at BICORE. Daan has been involved in many different EU projects, including trustworthy ICT related projects: ACTOR, ATTPS, AU2EU and was co-editor of the Trust in Digital Life’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.
What we do?
The COSTAR mission is to make the European critical economic infrastructure of SMEs more resilient to cyber-attacks by:
Provisioning affordable managed cyber-security services in all European member states especially geared to SMEs
Monitoring and Assistance
Actively monitoring the health of SME infrastructure on subscriber devices and providing remedial action to attacked SME's.
Mounting training and awareness programs for the SME sector.
Collating cross border evidence of cyber-attacks to assist in effective prosecutions by Criminal Justice organisations.