At 22, twin brothers Adrián and Alberto decided to set up Agemes, a special tax consultancy firm which has now grown to 11 employees. Over the past 10 years, working on what they call their “life project”, they have seen their business grow in size and quality, with clients from industries spanning from hydrocarbons to beverages in Spain. “It’s a very traditional sector and people are surprised at how specialised we are, despite our young age.”
Adrián and Alberto handle confidential information and business critical data for their clients, so they have always been aware of the importance of cybersecurity– although they admit that they didn’t focus very much on it in the very beginning, as there were only two of them in the company. “When the team started to grow, we had to introduce systems to ensure all of our clients’ data was safe.”
Despite their precautions, they suffered a cyberattack in 2018. One of their employees received an email with a subject line that looked very similar to an email from a client and opened it without thinking. Within a few minutes, employees could no longer access their files and Adrián and Alberto immediately realised that they had been victims of phishing (personal information theft). “We never thought it would happen. You always think it will happen to someone else.” To tackle the problem, they contacted the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) who helped them identify which protocol to follow and how Google tools could help them improve their cybersecurity. “We weren’t making the most out of our Google Workspace account until then. That’s when we started to look into Google’s solutions for setting up these protocols.”
At Agemes, they use Google Vault – a data preservation service included in the Google Workspace package that helps detect malicious emails. They also use Google Drive to manage their documents. “It’s great because all users can access it and there is always a backup copy. Everything is saved in the cloud so if you delete a file, you can still recover it a few days later. You can also set up a system so that not everyone can access all the folders with sensitive information.”
To protect companies from this type of cyberattack, Adrián says “don’t look at cybersecurity as something difficult, distant and expensive. Don’t be put off by it. You can set up a very straightforward system that will make it easy for you. It’s not hard work to change passwords every 60 days either. These small actions can indirectly help to protect you without you even realising.” They believe it is extremely important to train employees and get them involved in the process, so they carry out annual drills.
Adrián took part in Google’s ‘Protect your Business’ event held in Leon in October 2022, in partnership with BBVA and the Chamber of Commerce. “I was delighted to be invited. I think this kind of initiative helps highlight the importance of cybersecurity. You don’t realise the risk until somebody shares their real-life experience.”
At Agemes, they will continue working to make sure maintaining cybersecurity is an easy process with measures that ensure their clients’ security.