Customer Story

Public Sector

This local council needed to enhance their communication security after a cyber attack

Remko Gelmers Lochem

"The software not only ensures that the municipality (local council) complies with laws and regulations, but it also brought other considerable benefits. The bottom line is that Zivver helped us to save a lot of time and money."

Remko Gelmers , I&A Coordinator


Customer Case: Municipality of Lochem (local council)

The Dutch Municipality of Lochem and 't Baken in the eastern side of the country (around 35,000 residents) has been emailing securely with Zivver since 2019. This way, the municipality exchanges privacy-sensitive information, such as Citizen Service Numbers, healthcare information, but also (email) addresses in accordance with the safest standards. Zivver ensures that no one other than the sender and the recipient can read the message. Remko Gelmers I&A Coordinator at the municipality explains what this collaboration looks like.

After a cyber-attack that caused more than 200,000 euros worth of damage, the municipality enhanced their digital communication security with Zivver. As a result of the hack, the mayor of the municipality frequently reached out to the media to draw attention to information security in municipalities. A good thing!

  • Employees: 300
  • Residents: 35,000
  • Industry: local government

Which secure communication solutions does the Lochem Municipality use?

  • mail-icon Zivver Mail
  • mail-icon Zivver File Transfer
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Hacking incident was a costly lesson for this municipality (local council)

The municipality was in the news in June 2019 when it fell victim to a hacking attack. Research showed that no personal data of residents were viewed, stolen, or altered during the hack. It does, however, appear that the cybercriminals acted in a very sophisticated manner. The incident cost the municipality of Lochem some 200,000 euros and caused damage to their reputation. Lochem finally saw the light and took action. Lessons were learned and improvements implemented.

The challenge for municipalities (local councils)

"As a municipality, we process an enormous amount of data about our constituents, we link up a lot with bodies such as healthcare institutions, but also with government bodies such as the police and the regional authorities. An increasing number of organizations, and also our constituents prefer digital communications over snail mail, but that needs to happen in a secure way - we've learned this the hard way. Safety is an important spearhead for the municipality of Lochem. We are expected to handle privacy-sensitive data securely, and people should expect that from us as well".

  • Minimizing the risk of data leaks
  • Facilitate compliance with legislation and regulations
  • Greater awareness among employees
  • Better control of privacy-sensitive digital information flows

How exactly does the Lochem municipality use Zivver?

Zivver automatically switches on while composing an email, it scans the content of an email as it's being written. Zivver alerts the user when they are about to share potentially sensitive information. "This so-called Smart Error Prevention Technology significantly reduces the chance of a data breach or leak at the municipality. Zivver's alerts improve employee awareness to better comply with data policies. An increasing number of emails are now shared in a secure way using Zivver. Our staff feel increasingly confident about sending privacy-sensitive data, and can do so in a safe and compliant way," Gelmers says. An additional advantage: the municipality is facilitating more digital enablement in the organization, which is a good thing.

"In addition, all employees can now securely share large attachments up to 5 terabytes. Yes that's terabyte, not gigabyte!"


After the onboarding of the municipality and clear training provided by Zivver, the software was rolled-out in the organization. The software not only ensures that the municipality complies with laws and regulations, but it also brought considerable benefits. "Zivver has helped the municipality to save a lot of time and money."

  • Good onboarding and training from Zivver
  • Saving on printing costs / courier costs / time because a lot can now be shared digitally
  • Efficiency gains in cooperation with other parties (such as healthcare institutions and governments)
  • Facilitates digitization within the organization

Lochem's mayor Sebastiaan van 't Erve says that he himself has become a security evangelist with a particularly strong determination since the hack in 2019. Zivver supports the municipality in its mission to secure privacy-sensitive data. 

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