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Santens operates as a technical wholesaler specializing in construction hardware and tools for professionals, including carpenters, contractors, technical services, and public authorities. Their headquarters are located in Merelbeke. In 2023, they faced a ransomware attack that rendered their systems inaccessible for several days. They sought assistance from Spotit through the CSIRT service

The challenge

A ransomware attack

On the eve of a long weekend, Santens received an alarming call from the federal police: their account information was being offered for sale on the Dark Web. That news came as a shock. Unfortunately that was only the beginning of a cyber attack nightmare.

The cyber attack inflicted substantial financial losses on Santens. We faced costs exceeding several hundred thousand euros to get back up-and-running an the lost income easily amounts to €2,000,000. This is a very severe impact for a company like Santens.
Bram Vande Walle | CEO at Santens
The approach

Establishing a crisis center

In response to the attack, Santens swiftly established a crisis center comprising internal staff and external professionals to evaluate the impact on daily operations. The management team made decisive choices, opting not to pay the ransom. Instead, they collaborated with spotit to focus on system recovery and resilience.


The solution

A lifeline in case of emergency

Spotit’s CSIRT experts promptly assessed the situation, isolating infected systems to prevent further spread of the ransomware. They provided meticulous guidance and expert advice during the system restart process and assisted in implementing enhanced cybersecurity measures.


The results

Quick recovery

Thanks to unaffected backup systems, Santens managed to minimize damage and resume operations within a week. They also subsequently subscribed to spotit’s Managed Detecion & Response service, including CSIRT, ensuring continuous monitoring for anomalies and rapid expert intervention in case of future incidents.

The next steps

Strategic approach to digitalization

Before the attack, a cyber attack seemed like something for large companies. By being confronted with the matter and talking to other companies, Santens notices that many companies experienced an attack at some degree. Cybersecurity awareness is now high on the agenda. Santens is fully committed to raising employee awareness and elevating their cybersecurity measures.

Publication date: June 19, 2024