The corona crisis is an unprecedented challenge for our society and at the same time shows how important IT security startups are for our social and economic development. Unfortunately, there are numerous security breaches, some of which are due to work from home regulations; many companies and public institutions only now switch to digital solutions and can’t plan the step thoroughly.
Cybercriminals are shamelessly exploiting security breaches, spying on companies and attacking their networks or deceiving employees. It’s not just small and medium-sized companies that are facing major difficulties during the switch to working from home – even the large technology companies in Silicon Valley are finding themselves in trouble these days when it comes to sharing and protecting their data.
“Only few companies are prepared for a situation in which their entire workforce is working from home. Now it is important to make employees aware of threats; specifically, through webinars and special applications”.Matteo Große-Kampmann is the co-founder of AWARE7 GmbH. The Gelsenkirchen-based startup offers the entire range of services to increase the IT security measures of companies, authorities and individuals.
Let’s keep it short – the prevention of attack scenarios is currently more important than ever. It’s hard to imagine what an attack on critical Infrastructures would result in. As heise online reports, this scenario has already become reality. In the Czech Republic, hackers had temporarily prevented the University Hospital in Brno from operating. The Tübingen startup CureVac which has high hopes for the development of a corona vaccine also made the headlines recently when passwords associated with e-mail addresses appeared on the internet. And the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior accidentally broadcasted an internal meeting on the corona virus, as c’t discovered
RUB as a nucleus for IT security startups
The measures to contain the corona-virus make it very clear that companies and authorities in particular need help to cope with the crisis. Startups, which are supported at the HGI by the Cube 5 incubator, develop technologies based on research. Solutions for problems usually arise during the work on a thesis, a paper or doctoral studies. Now the young companies benefit from their innovative ways of working and developing software: For example, startups often operate with an agile mindset, which has taught them to react quickly to external and internal influences.
Through our research we are used to adapt to new circumstances. We live a culture of constructive criticism in our startup and encourage employees not to be intimidated by problems that may seem unsolvable at first,”says former RUB student Marc Fyrbiak. He holds a PhD in hardware security and successfully completed his doctorate in 2019. Fyrbiak is one of the co-founders of emproof GmbH, a Bochum-based startup that protects embedded software against industrial espionage.
Technological sovereignty is becoming increasingly important for Germany and Europe. With the rise of terms like “Industry 4.0” and an increasing number of connected electronic components to control self-driving cars or service robots the topic is central to more and more companies in Germany. According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), electronics is considered the “core of every digital system”. It is the core of the digitization strategy. Microelectronics and electronic systems must be trustworthy. This relevance is shown by the announcement of a new funding directed at research projects for “Trustworthy Electronics (ZEUS)”.
The challenges that have affected the German economy in general since the outbreak of the Corona crisis show to us all how important research and the rapid implementation of groundbreaking solutions are. IT security has to be at the very center of the changes that companies are making right now.