Dr. Anette Hilbert
Communication Systems, Human-Machine Interaction, Health
IT security affects everyone: Private persons, companies, public administrative agencies and the state. Security and reliability of modern IT systems are of decisive importance today for business success of companies or entire national economies. Each individual person is likewise personally affected if, for example, passwords or digital identities are misused. The current developments such as the “Internet of Things” are reinforcing this trend. Information technologies are gaining entry into almost all areas of life – from smart living rooms to completely interconnected factories.
Thus, the possbile targets of attacks on IT security are increasing. Moreover, the attacks themselves are becoming more widespread, more sophisticated and more professional. There are almost daily reports on new security gaps, malwares or hacker attacks. Some well-known incidents have caused great damage to the organisations suffering the attacks: Information was altered, data communication was hindered, sensitive data were disclosed, business processes came to a standstill.
The current dynamic developments of the increasing interdependence of the information technologies with many societal and business areas are thus inconceivable without sufficiently addressing IT security. Oftentimes, individual technical solutions must be replaced by comprehensive solutions in order to safeguard the IT systems. However, the following also applies: Even a sophisticated solution is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. New security technologies are required that fulfil the specific requirements such as limited resources, real-time capabilities and continuous availability. Protection and control measures must be integrated into the concept at the outset in order to design IT systems so as to be more capable of dealing with Internet-based attacks. In addition, methodical approaches are required in order to make the security and trustworthiness of IT systems verifiable and to make them capable of being assessed from a business management perspective as well. IT security oftentimes has its price. However, to neglect IT security would certainly be more expensive.