Baden-Württemberg Safety Award: Pilz GmbH & Co. KG from Ostfildern took 1st place. EnBW, Porsche AG and SVG Süd together with SmartSEC GmbH share second place.
Digitization Minister Thomas Strobl: “In the future, we must take care not only of territorial sovereignty, but also of digital sovereignty. Security, self-determination and independence in the digital world, in short: digital sovereignty is more topical and important than ever right now.” And further: “The war in Ukraine shows us quite unmistakably and relentlessly: Wars today are also waged via the Internet. Cyber attacks, propaganda and disinformation are part of this war. We must arm ourselves against this, and that means: in the future, we must not only ensure territorial sovereignty, but also digital sovereignty. That’s what we’re addressing at this year’s Cyber Security Forum, because the most important building block in cyber security is prevention.”
The occasion for the speech was the 4th CyberSecurityForum “Sovereign. Secure” in Stuttgart. “The Corona pandemic was a booster for digitization. The war in Ukraine was also a fire accelerator in the network. Security, self-determination and independence in the digital world, in short: digital sovereignty is also one of the central topics right now and is the focus of our 4th CyberSecurityForum,” Strobl continued. Only with the combined forces of government, business, research and society is it possible to achieve digital independence. To this end, our state must bundle and further develop its technological core competencies, said Minister Thomas Strobl.
In his keynote speech, AI visionary Hans-Christian Boos, who otherwise assists the German government with digitization issues, described Baden-Württemberg as a location with ideal conditions for further strengthening digital sovereignty: “Particularly in light of the current global situation, sovereignty – both in terms of ability and independence – plays a central role. Mutually advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are essential for the economic future viability of our country and Europe as a whole. That’s why networks like the one we’re building here are the lifeline of our digital future.”
Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek, who as a member of the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation also advises the German government on technological and digital sovereignty, sees cybersecurity as an essential element of digital sovereignty. She gave the participants of the CyberSecurityForum insights into her research work and an outlook on how we can strengthen our digital sovereignty: “For more digital sovereignty, German and European companies must build up – and expand – manufacturing and development competencies. At the same time, digital competencies, including in dealing with cybersecurity and data, need to be strengthened in academic education as well as in training and continuing education. Continuous monitoring should track progress in these areas.”
In addition to discussions and presentations on the topic of digital sovereignty, there were also concrete instructions and workshops for practical use: How companies can confidently overcome the chaos phase immediately after a cyber attack was demonstrated exclusively by Incident Manager Tobias Müller in his workshop.
2022 Safety Award ceremony – From attack victim back to the top
As part of the 4th CyberSecurityForum, the Minister of the Interior, together with the Minister of Economics, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister -Kraut, also awarded the Baden-Württemberg Security Prize. The story of this year’s winner, Pilz GmbH & Co. KG from Ostfildern, is particularly impressive. As recently as 2019, the company itself was the victim of a serious cyberattack that encrypted data on servers and computers around the world in an attempt to extort a ransom from the company. In response, Pilz launched a targeted awareness campaign aimed both internally and externally. This lays the foundation for the company’s effective and successful safety culture, which is particularly notable for the openness with which the company has dealt with the problem, both internally and externally.
The same goes for the runners-up: Porsche AG launched the exemplary “Cyber Security Management Professional Automotive” certificate program in cooperation with the Institute for Security and Safety (ISS) at Brandenburg Technical University. The goal here: To promote and professionalize knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity issues in companies, and to anchor cybersecurity in the corporate culture.
EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg used an unusual awareness campaign to make its employees aware of the issue of information security. The aim of the campaign was to create awareness of cyberattacks through a fake hacking attack on the Group, which ran over various phases, each with a different focus, for a total of six months.
Another second prize went to the two companies SVG Süd from Stuttgart and SmartSEC from Wernau, which launched the SVG Cyberpakt for the transport and logistics sector in cooperation with SVG Consult from Frankfurt a.M.. In doing so, they are ensuring a higher level of cybersecurity in the logistics and transportation industry.
Economics Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut said: “A keen awareness of security issues among our companies is more important than ever to maintain and expand our country’s economic success. The threat to data and know-how has unfortunately become a constant companion in business operations. We are currently feeling this particularly keenly against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and an increase in cyber attacks from Russia feared by experts. Nevertheless, the issue is still often underestimated. The Security Award is intended to make companies aware of these dangers and to promote the potential for innovation in this area. I congratulate the award winners on their exemplary projects and extend my sincere thanks to the Security Forum and all its committed members. They are making a significant contribution to raising awareness of this important issue,” she continued.
The prize is offered and awarded by the Baden-Württemberg Security Forum.
The CyberSecurityForum Baden-Württemberg
Over the past four years, the CyberSecurityForum has developed into a format that is indispensable to the cybersecurity field. This year, for the first time in hybrid form, more than 500 participants were able to be present in the Stuttgart Haus der Wirtschaft as well as online. Questions in the chat were transmitted directly to the stage by the moderator, and online participants had the opportunity to network and exchange ideas directly. Partners in the event organized by the Ministry of the Interior, Digitization and Local Government were the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Tourism, the Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection, and the three Baden-Württemberg security agencies, the Cybersecurity Agency, the State Criminal Police Office and the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution.