Strengthening Europe’s Cyber Defences with S2 Grupo from the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area

19 apr 2024
Auteur: HSD Foundation

The Spain – The Netherlands Business Summit on April 18th 2024 served as a high profile gathering with attendees including His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Prince Constantijn, Spanish and Dutch Ministers, representatives of business confederations and successful entrepreneurs. With this royal backdrop, S2 Grupo celebrated their expansion to the Netherlands which they hope will serve as their European headquarters as they continue to expand internationally from their foundation 20 years ago in Valencia, Spain.


InnovationQuarter supported S2 Grupo establishing their Rotterdam office, Martijn van Hoogenhuijze, Head of the Foreign Investments Team at InnovationQuarter, shared their delight that “S2 Grupo chose The Netherlands as their base to target western and northern markets in Europe.”


Global ambitions from a unique background

S2 Grupo is at the forefront of Cyber Security and Managed Security Services, with a broad range of services focused on IT and OT (Operational Technology). Their two founders, Jose Miguel Rosell Tejada and Miguel Juan, were both industrial engineers which gave them a unique perspective when they joined the cybersecurity space after having witnessed a cyberattack on the website of a major Spanish TV broadcaster. Jose Miguel and Miguel Juan are still the owners and key executives even after 20 years at S2 Grupo, making them one of the few remaining independent players on the market. Today, the organisation has over 700 employees with global offices across Europe and Latin America.

General Manager Europe at S2 Grupo Régis Cazenave emphasised that “launching in Rotterdam-The Hague is key to our mission of safeguarding European digital sovereignty and critical infrastructures. This choice reflects our dual expertise in civilian and classified sectors, emphasising our role in strengthening Europe’s cybersecurity landscape.” 

What sets S2 Grupo apart beyond their experience is their focus on building security tools and combatting specialised critical complex incidents. Having participated in more than 50 European projects and working closely with National Intelligence Services, their software tools having been built in Europe is a major competitive advantage. Additionally, as access to talent is always an issue within the cybersecurity domain, they are collaborating closely with a Rotterdam based NGO, Cyberworkplace, who develop and deliver cybersecurity training to young people from underprivileged backgrounds. This is in addition to their internal university as they anticipate to grow their workforce in the Netherlands and abroad. S2 Grupo is also driven to build a diverse workforce with Régis adding that they are keen on “hiring female talent who want to develop their career in cybersecurity,” in addition to diversifying from a cultural and language perspective. 


A strong client base in the Netherlands

S2 Grupo is already working with clients in the Netherlands including critical infrastructure within multiple Dutch municipalities. Their work is fairly evenly distributed between private and public sector, with clients such as the UN and the Central Bank of Europe. Selected as one of the companies by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, they provide security services to critical infrastructure in four member states including the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. Although they cannot disclose the name of the Dutch municipality, they are currently performing a “very deep and wide security assessment for a renowned Dutch city,” as mentioned by Régis.


This includes public infrastructure such as light signalling, speed cameras, and other operational technology that are part of a smart city. This holistic approach will allow S2 Grupo to identify any potential gaps in which the cybersecurity infrastructure can be penetrated. This is only a small part of their work already being done in the Netherlands as they have a strong track record in healthcare and work with water utilities and logistics infrastructure. Régis added that S2 Grupo operates military graded security operations centres and offers a 24-hour rapid intervention group that can be deployed “all over the globe at any time for complex incidents. We also provide tailored threat intelligence services to many intelligence agencies around the world.” 


Regional support of S2 Grupo

With the help of InnovationQuarter together with Rotterdam Partners and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, S2 Grupo has now put down roots in the Greater Rotterdam-The Hague Area. Régis noted that the Netherlands was a wise choice given its international environment and ease of doing business, further helped by its “high level of maturity when it comes to digital transformation and connectivity [and] very high level of education.” InnovationQuarter helped S2 Grupo settle in the region with contacts of potential providers, identifying useful networks and events such as The Spain – The Netherlands Business Summit, and finding a location. S2 Grupo with their offices at Groot Handelsgebouw in Rotterdam frequently makes the trip to The Hague where they are part of Security Delta (HSD) and Régis observed the ease with which they can access other markets thanks to the location of the Netherlands and Zuid-Holland.

Régis expressed that “in spearheading our expansion in Europe from Rotterdam-The Hague, we focus on enhancing European digital sovereignty and securing critical infrastructures. This strategic location, rich in industrial and security communities, perfectly aligns with our capabilities in both civilian and classified projects, underpinning our commitment to Europe’s cybersecurity resilience.”

The opening panel of The Spain – The Netherlands Business Summit included discussions on the value of international business and the importance of technology and innovation. The panel was moderated by InnovationQuarter’s Director of Internationalisation Chris van Voorden and the cybersecurity panel was moderated by Head of the Foreign Investments Team Martijn van Hoogenhuijze. The event’s matchmaking was provided by Digital Liaison Officer Niklaas van Hylckama Vlieg and Senior Account Manager for Cybersecurity Philip Meijer was present to engage with all cybersecurity companies from Spain and the Netherlands. 


Source: InnovationQuarter

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