The number of companies registered in the Luxembourg territory, offering at least one cybersecurity product or service, has doubled in the last five years.
by: Delphine Sabattier
photo: Serge Deuces
featured: Pascal Steichen
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304 ! This is the exact number of companies belonging to what is now known as the “Luxembourg Cybersecurity Ecosystem” (*). “Honestly, if I had been asked to bet on a number, I would not have dared to put forward such a result!” says Pascal Steichen, CEO of SECURITYMADEIN.LU, who left the announcement to his minister, Étienne Schneider. A logical politeness for two reasons. Firstly, the Ministry of Economy has been actively promoting cybersecurity since 2010 through its SECURITYMADEIN.LU platform. Secondly, according to the study carried out by the Market Intelligence team of Luxinnovation and SECURITYMADEIN.LU, cybersecurity is becoming one of the important pillars of Luxembourg’s economy.
Between 2015 and today, the number of players has doubled. A spectacular leap if we look back to a decade ago, when the Grand Duchy only had about fifteen cybersecurity companies!
“The financial sector, which is highly developed here, represents an important market for cybersecurity companies.”
This ecosystem is therefore very young: 46% of the companies surveyed are less than five years old of which 22% are startups. To be a part of the ecosystem, the start-up must offer at least one product or service in the field. Only 24% of the 304 companies counted have cybersecurity as their main activity. However, they are singlehandedly responsible for over 1000 jobs in Luxembourg.
In terms of nationalities, not all the companies in the ecosystem originate from the Grand Duchy. However, what they have in common is that they have at least one branch registered as an enterprise in Luxembourg. That being said, most of the startups listed were created in the Grand Duchy and the Greater Region (Belgium, France, Germany).
Pascal Steichen explains that Luxembourg’s attractiveness in this field is based on a need and an expertise: “The financial sector, which is highly developed here, represents an important market for cybersecurity companies. Our legislation on encryption allows for a completely free use of these technologies. This has attracted several specialized startups to Luxembourg, which have gone on to create the Encryption Alliance Europe (see our article “Encryption Europe, the alliance that promotes simple encryption without (any) vulnerabilities“). At SECURITYMADEIN.LU, we are already planning for next steps. The idea of opening an incubator dedicated to cybersecurity is being carefully considered. To date, there are four incubators in the territory, each of which includes cybersecurity startups.”
“The more incubators there are for cybersecurity, the better. Our neighbours, in Saarbrücken, for example, have a cybersecurity accelerator being set up.”
Creating a cybersecurity-focused incubator would make it possible to attract more specialists. A specific cybersecurity incubator could also have another virtue: diversifying the products offered. Currently, the offers are mainly focused on three areas: advice on governance and risk identification, management of digital identities and access rights, and data protection.
“The more incubators there are for cybersecurity, the better. Our neighbours, in Saarbrücken, for example, have a cybersecurity accelerator being set up. We are contemplating working with them to complete the Greater Region’s offerings,” says Pascal Steichen.
In the meantime, Luxembourg has developed a branding dedicated to its new ecosystem. It features the large blue and red X that is the country’s trademark, with a shield at its centre that is partly made up of 0s and 1s. It will be used for the first time at the FIC, the International Cybersecurity Forum that is held every year at the end of January in Lille. Luxembourg’s pavilion, which is supported by the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and SECURITYMADEIN.LU, will proudly display this new coat of arms, aiming to make the country’s policy on this subject even more visible. Luxembourg already ranks eleventh in the Global Cybersecurity Index, which measures the commitment of countries to cybersecurity worldwide.