Advania contributes to increased security for fast growing e-commerce company

In 1997, Einar Brandsdal founded the startup company Netthandelen.no, which has become Norway's largest auction site measured in revenue. In 2007 Blivakker.no was established, today the largest contribution in the group as Norway's largest online beauty shop. Since 2012, Blivakker.no has been operating in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Austria, all under the name of Cocopanda. Brandsdal.no is another online store founded, offering the clothing brand Brandsdal of Norway. Every day, 9000 products go through the warehouse associated with Brandsdal Group.


Attacked at daily basis
"It is our responsibility to keep our customers safe and secure, as well as customer data and general business data," says Dag Øyvind Godtfredsen, IT Director of Brandsdal Group. With exposed websites receiving heavy traffic, Brandsdal Group often experiences scanning and attempting online attacks. As Brandsdal has gained control over the exposure on the Internet, the e-commerce has turned its focus towards their employees and their computers. The purpose has been to limit the negative consequences if an employee accidentally opens an attachment or clicks on a maliciously crafted link. Advania has supported this security work at Brandsdal with methods for hardening, verification of security mechanisms and counseling.  

Consultants have tested by trying to break into to web pages to reveal any weaknesses. Similar tests has been performed on employee computers, to determine how much access a potential hacker can obtain.

From Avandia’s safety expert, Brandsdal has received assistance for both major assignments and counseling sessions at short notice. "The collaboration with Advania has worked very well," says the IT Director at Brandsdal Group.


Security - and good user experience
Godtfredsen emphasizes the important interaction between technology and ease of use. "It is essential that the employee does not experience being restricted with access or functionality. It is a matter of being a bit creative with the technology and using it properly so we gain the security benefits while maintaining the user experience well".  

Brandsdal has focused on raising awareness among their employees and sharing knowledge about challenges, general threats, and threats in the e-commerce industry in particular and related to the company's profile. The employees has been given tips on what to look for, how to determine whether it seems to be a safe email or if they should investigate more before they open attachments and links. "It's a matter of simple tips, which nevertheless give a great value. I do not think its technology alone that can solve security challenges; it's about technology in interaction with the human assessment".

Brandsdal also faces threats by ransomware, attempts for financial gain. According to Godtfredsen, Brandsdal have experienced so-called director fraud, but thanks to vigilant employees, they were able to stop the attempt in time.


Challenges ahead
Godtfredsen believes the e-commerce industry will have security challenges for many years to come. "There's going to be financial considerations in this industry, that's for sure. Security is never a done job. It's more about maintaining a good level". The IT Director emphasizes the need to monitor current threats, both on their own and with the help of security partners such as Advania who know the challenges of many businesses and industries and can provide valuable input. "Keep security on the agenda! Focus on security both from the technical perspective, but also on the awareness of employees. It's crucial to get all the employees involved and make sure they know what challenges there are at all times.", Godtfredsen concludes.