Decoration PressNEWSROOM

Advantage Europe: Nearly three-quarters of SMEs see EU cybersecurity legislation as a competitive advantage

3 min

Achieving compliance with European cybersecurity and data protection legislation is adding additional work and costs, but these efforts are ultimately worth the investment confirm more than three quarters (77%) of 750 IT security decision makers from France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. This is a result of a representative survey commissioned by HarfangLab, European cybersecurity specialist headquartered in Paris*. 73% of all respondents agree that their business partners around the world appreciate the European protection level.  

SMEs represent the majority of the economic landscape of Europe and improving their cyber resilience is critical. Indeed, they are facing similar threats as big corporations, and have much fewer resources to defend themselves”, says Anouck Teiller, Chief Strategy Officer at HarfangLab. “The survey provides insight into how companies are dealing with the current cybersecurity landscape and how they perceive upcoming cybersecurity compliance requirements. Despite the legislation putting additional pressure on them, 50 percent of Dutch companies see EU cybersecurity and data protection legislation as a competitive advantage.” 

European cybersecurity autonomy 

It might be a sign of geopolitical tensions that European SMEs also find the idea of a sovereign European cybersecurity defense architecture quite attractive”, continues Anouck Teiller. 72% agree that European cybersecurity providers are in a better position to give counsel and develop products in line with European needs, and almost three quarters (74%) are in favor of European organisations trying to make an effort to predominantly use European cybersecurity solutions. 

No disagreement between regions on European advantages

IT security decision makers from Germany and Belgium are even more convinced that EU cybersecurity and data protection legislation is a competitive advantage (73% and 74%) than their French (68%) or Dutch (50%) counter parts, however in each country roughly the same numbers agrees that compliance efforts are worth it (FR 77%, GER 76%, BEL 77%, NL 82%). All regions support the idea of choosing European cybersecurity partners (FR 74%, GER 72%, BEL 78%, NL 78%) and are convinced that these can better meet their needs (FR 73%, GER 70%, BEL 74%, NL 74%) 

Cybersecurity that fits like a glove 

According to HarfangLab’s research, European SMEs favor solutions that perfectly adjust to their needs: With limited time and resources, they need to be easily deployed (important to 86%) in their own infrastructure yet still always up to date (88%) and supported by human experts who understand specific SME issues (87%). “Our world is in tension, and international events such as the Olympics, the EU football cup and European elections are creating an opportunity for many threat actors, APT, hacktivists or cybercriminals. SMEs need partners who understand the local threat landscape and help them prepare for any eventuality”, concludes Anouck Teiller.  

* The survey was carried out online by Sapio Research in April 2024. Out of 750 respondents, 300 were from France and Germany each, 100 from Belgium and 50 from the Netherlands. Business sizes spanned from 300 to 4.000 employees.