When a company operates in the Balkan region, experiences significant growth, and runs multiple online stores, meaning it handles financial transactions over the internet, it’s evident that it would attract cybercriminals. Moreover, in today’s world, any company can become a target, as is widely known.

Strong growth is a sum of many factors.

“It’s clear that our operational area, which also includes countries outside the EU, raises the risk level. However, it was not as clear just how much we were being attacked on almost a daily basis,” admits Timo Tervo, CEO of Pet Network International. His company is the fastest-growing pet industry group in the Balkan region, with a store network expanding at a rate of fifty stores per year. “Last year, the strongest growth was experienced in Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria. In Northern Romania, growth was particularly strong due to refugees from Ukraine. Ukrainians are a very pet-loving people,” Tervo says.

TImo Tervo, CEO, Pet Network International

The implementation of the SOC service revealed a harsh truth. Pet Network International started collaborating with Netox Oy less than a year ago. Based on the cybersecurity assessment conducted then, the companies agreed to implement a security operations center service, which was immediately recognized as extremely necessary. “Our firewalls and network infrastructure were constantly being bombarded,” Timo Tervo says. “When Netox’s SOC service began monitoring our digital boundaries, we realized how lucky we had been that nothing serious had yet occurred.”

Readiness improves with information.

Now, cybersecurity cooperation is part of Pet Network’s daily operations. “Cybersecurity awareness within the company has grown immensely, and that alone has significantly raised our security level,” says Tervo. “Through the SOC service, we continuously receive comprehensive reports on detected security threats and the measures taken to counter them. Regular collaboration meetings further increase the organization’s awareness and understanding of what we had previously lacked. Overall, the increase in transparency in all aspects of cybersecurity has grown, so we are no longer in the dark about these matters.”

“Our collaboration with Pet Network International is a good example of how continuous development and adaptation to customer needs form the basis for improving cybersecurity. Based on Netox’s cyber expertise, we have identified important areas for improvement, which are enhanced together through good cooperation. This approach and the ability to respond quickly are key elements in improving information security,” says Ville Kankare, Vice President, Cloud & Cybersecurity services, Netox.

Ville Kankare. Vice President, Cloud & Cybersecurity services, Netox.

Cybersecurity thinking becomes part of core processes.

The global economic downturn also affects Pet Network International’s business, as geopolitical tensions and inflation would have allowed for even faster business growth otherwise. “In a way, it’s good that growth has remained within reasonable limits because we have had time to integrate cybersecurity thinking better and as part of the business metrics. Cybersecurity has become part of the company’s daily routine. The responsibility for its condition is an executive-level matter, meaning it’s part of the company’s core processes,” Timo Tervo says.

Netox continuously focuses on developing and adapting cybersecurity solutions, ensuring they meet the growing and changing needs of customers.

“Integrating cybersecurity into Pet Network International’s core processes has been a key part of our collaboration. At Netox, we ensure that our cybersecurity solutions not only meet current needs but also evolve and adapt proactively to future requirements, thus supporting the executive team’s vision of secure growth,” says Ville Kankare.