New strategy for Germany’s IT security

SFor years, experts have been pointing out the increasingly close connection between national security and information technology (IT) security. The Federal Ministry of Defense and the Federal Ministry of the Interior therefore agreed in 2018 to set up a cyber agency that will carry out research into future IT security commission and coordinate. The cyber agency got off to a rocky start in 2020, but the facility based in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt has now completed its strategy for the coming years. The document is available to the FAZ.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

A total of around 320 million euros are to flow into research by 2025. Under the heading “Secure Systems”, the cyber agency wants to deal with research projects in which the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of the Interior have a direct interest. The main focus is on the IT security of the German authorities and the protection of critical infrastructures, such as energy networks. “Cybersecurity in Challenging Environments” is about communication in intelligence or military areas, be it in space, in war zones or when transmitting data for submarines and their weapons.

dr  Christian Hummert is research director of the cyber agency in Halle.

dr Christian Hummert is research director of the cyber agency in Halle.

Image: cyber agency

However, the “secure systems” area also includes “holistic protection of the supply chains” for IT hardware and software. The research director of the cyber agency, Christian Hummert, tells the FAZ that Germany must ensure that no backdoors are installed along the supply chain of purchased technology through which other powers can gain access to Germany’s sensitive data.

The second major area that the cyber agency intends to focus on is a forward-looking approach to major developments in IT. According to the strategy paper, these include cryptology in general and quantum computing in particular, which offers both opportunities and risks for encrypted communication. The cyber agency will also commission research into artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, for example in transport. In addition, research is also to be carried out into a more secure communication architecture. The common Internet protocol TCP/IP dates back to the 1970s and, according to Hummert, harbors “inherent security gaps”.

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