In Focus Feb 10, 2021

IT security and cybersecurity trends in Bavaria

In the digital age, large amounts of all kinds of data accumulate every day – private data, company data sets or public sector files. IT security and cybersecurity have become increasingly important in recent years, not least because of the exponential increase in the volume of data. At the same time, cyberattacks on systems and data breaches continue to rise. This makes it all the more important to protect sensitive data.

IT security is and remains one of the most important challenges in the digital age. Data security with the transfer of information and highly complex encryption are of great importance, especially in the manufacturing industry and administration. What were the trends in 2020? What is the state of the industry in Bavaria?

Cybersecurity particularly relevant in the industrial sector

The it-sa trade fair in Nuremberg is the most important platform for representatives of the industry in Europe and has been highlighting the trends in the IT and cybersecurity sector time and again since 2009. In 2020, the trade fair took place digitally and created a platform with the it-sa 365 format, which offers up-to-date specialist contributions, innovative dialogue formats and networking opportunities throughout the year. The fifth edition of the international Town Hall Meeting, which is organised every year by Invest in Bavaria in cooperation with the Security Network Munich and the Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern , also took place in a virtual room this time. An interesting keynote speech by Alexander Giehl from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) was followed by an exciting panel discussion on industrial security with experts from Siemens, Kuka, IABG, Giesecke & Devrient / GlobalPlatform and the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).  

Steffen Zimmermann, head of the VDMA Competence Center Industrial Security emphasised the increasingly complex processes in industry as the greatest challenge for the IT and cybersecurity sector. Industrial security has been an important topic for a long time, but the requirements are increasing as more and more new digitalisation solutions seep into manufacturing and logistics, expanding the attack surfaces for potentially disastrous cyberattacks that go hand and hand with these.

Security by design: avoiding system errors at an early stage

Due to these increasing demands on IT security, it is important to consider the topic as a whole and to incorporate security aspects from the very beginning according to the principle of “Security by design”, i.e. already during the initial development of products on the basis of clear processes and criteria, explained Steffen Stang from Siemens at Invest in Bavaria’s virtual Town Hall Meeting.

Alexander Giehl from Fraunhofer AISEC also confirmed that for a holistic view of security in networked production, the security by design approach should be applied throughout the entire value chain, starting with data and network security and extending to further processing and value-added services. He also gave an insight into the current research project “Anonymization 4 Optimization” and explained how the parties involved in the networked systems can optimise their products and processes by anonymising data sets on the one hand, while at the same time protecting sensitive data and intellectual property.

But Bavarian companies and research institutes are not the only ones keeping their finger on the pulse of cybersecurity trends. In Bavaria, there are numerous clusters and networks that are dealing extensively with this topic. Key initiatives and clusters include, among others:

  • Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern (ZD.B): The Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern deals with all topics related to digital Bavaria. The trends in IT and cybersecurity are dealt with specifically on a separate topics platform. This forms the link between research and companies as well as technology developers in Bavaria. In addition to a podcast on the topic of cybersecurity, the 2020 trends will be presented primarily during the online events: Data security in Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.
  • Security Network Munich: Companies and researchers meet in the Security Network Munich not only to prominently highlight the topic of IT security, but also to promote innovations and trends in the field of cybersecurity. The special feature of this network: you will not only find large corporations, but also SMEs as well as users and developers.
  • IT Security Cluster in Regensburg: The security cluster is a clear multiplier for cybersecurity trends and also offers training and information events. Cybersecurity trends are regularly discussed at networking events and in other formats.

Due to the strong and dynamic partnerships between research, networks, global players as well as start-ups, Bavaria is well positioned with regard to trends and upcoming challenges in the IT and cybersecurity sector. In addition, with the Hightech Agenda Bayern , Bavaria is investing massively in important future fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum technology, which are directly relevant to cybersecurity and will therefore continue to make a significant contribution to the industry’s success and innovations in the coming years.