New strategy

Cyber Security Plan Leans on Businesses

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Digital attacks not only target commercial and private data, they are also threatening essential services such as healthcare.

  • Facts


    • The German government is due to sign off its Cyber Security Strategy for Germany 2016 next week.
    • The strategy lists measures covering several areas, including defense, homeland security and education.
    • It also proposes special units to help small companies defend themselves, and a program that would encourage private companies to make their IT specialists available to smaller enterprises for free.
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Young man sitting by computers in control room, rear view
Cyber attacks threaten vital infrastructure in Germany. Source: Getty

The statements are alarming: “The number and quality of cyber attacks are (…) intensifying and often strike inadequately secured IT systems.”

“It is thought that a great number of previous attacks went unidentified.”

Cyber attacks and their origins are “increasingly undeterminable.”

“Government, economy and society in Germany will be affected by this threat to a considerable degree in the coming years.”

The words are taken from the final draft of the Cyber Security Strategy for Germany 2016 that was created by the federal government in the past few months under the auspices of Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. The federal cabinet is set to sign off on it November 9, according to information obtained by Handelsblatt.

The draft is an update of a similar document from 2011. With it, the federal government plans to face the new threat from the internet. The strategy lists measures covering several areas, including defense, homeland security and education.

The new strategy is needed. Just days ago, hackers attacked an internet node and temporarily paralyzed some websites, and earlier this year, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) reported a dramatic increase in so-called ransomware, software that allows hackers to infiltrate a company’s IT system and encrypt the data there. Data are released only after payment of a ransom. Several hospitals in Germany were affected, forcing them to temporarily cease all operations.


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