Threats from the Internet know no physical boundaries. As part of this increasingly networked world, the individual EU member states as well as the EU as a whole are committed to IT security. In Germany, state, industry and research have joined forces to tackle cyberattacks with an interdisciplinary approach.
With the adoption of the EU cybersecurity directive, security measures – such as investments in hardware and software along with reporting obligations on companies – are to guarantee greater IT security for all of Europe in the future. The success of the directive depends on the support of every member state. In Germany, the Cyber Security Strategy focuses on the cooperation of all state, industry and research players and pushes ahead a host of measures.
Task force to combat cybercrime
As part of a new cybercrime task force put together by Europol, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) works hand in hand with IT experts across national borders to accelerate international investigations involving Internet crime. The task force is headed up by a BKA officer who coordinates all activities dealing with major threats from the net.
Research in the name of IT security
The largest European competence center for research into IT security is located in Germany. Financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal State of Hesse, some 350 scientists work at the Center for Research in Security and Privacy (CRISP) in Darmstadt. Their research activities focus exclusively on IT security and the protection of privacy.
ECSO: Organized security
The newly established non-profit organization ECSO supports initiatives and projects that aim to develop and promote IT security across Europe. Its members include large companies, start-ups, research centers, universities, associations and public administration bodies from all over Europe. German company Teletrust is a founding member and is from where one of the organization's first directors hails.
Joint responsibility in industry
Growing, ever-present risks in the digital world have prompted German industry to redouble efforts to deal with the issue of cybersecurity and to join forces in the fight against cyberattacks. The European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) provides a platform for measures such as annual EU-wide events to promote awareness of online security threats. In past years, German companies have been invited to talks, workshops and security summits giving an up-to-date look at the current cybersecurity situation in Europe.
Fostering the security experts of tomorrow
The IT security industry has a future – and that goes for all of Europe. Together with selected partners, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is taking steps to foster the next generation of experts in Germany. At Cyber Security Challenge Germany, talented young individuals aged 30 or under are confronted with genuine cyberattacks. The person who handles the attacks best automatically wins a place in the European Cyber Security Challenge, a Europe-wide competition that brings together young IT security experts from across the continent.
Together in an emergency: German CERT Alliance
More than 40 security and computer emergency teams across Germany work together as part of the CERT alliance to safeguard the protection of national information technology networks. The close cooperation between the various teams ensures that the solution to specific IT security incidents is based on the expertise and experience of different IT security personnel and that they can react quickly.
Alliance: Sharing information and experiences
All key players in the German cybersecurity arena belong to the Alliance for Cyber Security. A joint initiative set up by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the German Federal Association for Information Technology (Bitkom), the alliance aims to act as a platform for information on the risks prevalent in cyberspace and to promote knowledge-sharing.
Focus on critical infrastructures
Institutions and organizations that could jeopardize public safety should they suffer disruptions to service or a complete breakdown require particular protection, which is why in Germany they work especially closely together. The Internet Platform on Critical Infrastructure Protection, a public-private partnership of the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and BSI, enables joint IT crisis management.