CEBIT‘s approach resonates with current industry thinking. For example, in its most recent report on the state of IT security in Germany, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) described data security as “the cornerstone of successful digitisation”.
Moreover, some 95% of the IT experts and IT security specialists surveyed in a recent study by Germany’s National Initiative for Information and Internet Security (NIFIS) anticipate that 2018 will be characterised by a growing awareness of data protection and security issues. However, one of the problems with IT security is that many users just don’t have the necessary skills or expertise.
A recent survey by German IT association Bitkom notes that, while 88% of computer owners make some effort to secure their machines, only about a third are confident they have the technical know-how needed to do so effectively.
Against this background, CEBIT’s role is to educate, inform and help with the implementation of suitable security measures. For security managers and IT professionals from large and mid-size enterprises as well as directors and IT users from small firms and startups, CEBIT is an opportunity to learn what tools and strategies they need in order to detect cyberattacks and what support is available for setting up IT security systems.
CEBIT has forums where experts will present on current best practice and insights in the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There will also be presentation events on efficient and cost-effective IT security solutions specifically for SMEs.
CEBIT’s IT Security display will be even bigger in 2018, occupying two halls (12 and 13) for the first time. As well as an exhibition zone, it will feature several speaking stages where, every day of the show, experts will discuss key issues in IT security from multiple perspectives, ranging from hands-on practical to out-of-the-box visionary.
The Expert Stages in halls 12 and 13 have a diverse program that includes security showcases and presentations on individual security technologies. The topics and issues up for discussion here include IT security for fintech companies and the security implications of IoT and AI. Among the highlights will be a series of lectures on employee awareness of security issues in relation to the use of company data and devices. These lectures are designed to provide practical information that visitors can use to improve their IT security.
One of the big-name speakers on stage will be the penetration tester and IT security expert Sebastian Schreiber, who will report on how hackers work and how he, as a white-hat hacker, goes about exposing security vulnerabilities. Schreiber’s vision of the future is not altogether reassuring: “The more we use IT systems, the more we become dependent on them. Eventually our planet will be run by an almighty IT system – which will be open to manipulation and abuse by hackers from around the world.”
Meanwhile, the focus on Centre Stage in Hall 12 will be on new and emerging online threats. Among much else, the discussion here will focus on Europe’s cybersecurity strategy and the growing significance of IT security.
One of the best-known speakers on Centre Stage will be Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish IT security firm F-Secure. He will be reporting on potential cyberattack scenarios and how to safeguard against them. Hypponen has a strong interest in the Internet of “smart” Things and makes the point on F-Secure’s Safe and Savvy blog that all IT security vulnerabilities “stem from a basic fact of computing: if something can be programmed, it can be hacked.”