No IoT without cyber security – German-British civil security conference

Both the threats and opportunities for the IoT and online business were spelled out at the German-British Civil Security Industry Conference held in London today, which highlighted the civil security industry as a multi-billion euro industry within Europe.

German-British Civil Security Industry Conference

German-British Civil Security Industry Conference

For example, Dr. Andreas Prothmann, Head of Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Global Issues from the German Embassy, spelt out the stark need for cyber security before the Internet of Things can be safely implemented.

London, as the financial centre of Europe, had enormous needs for cyber security, he pointed out, also noting the UK’s embrace of online-retail compared to the rest of Europe, and such local initiatives as Tech City – aka Silicon Roundabout.

There were, however, clear cyber threats to the economic and social infrastructure, which become vulnerable when they are attached to the Internet.

“Terrorists could use the Internet as an attack tool, and the IoT opens up new avenues of attack,” he observed. “Such attacks could have severe consequence for government and society. This is why the civil security industry is crucial for business.”

In a doleful roll call of global security threats, from the full-on fundamentalism of ISIS to cynical state-backed cyber crime, he suggested the context for putting systems online has to involve security.

According to another speaker at the event, Dr. Christian Stursberg, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the civil security industry in its widest sense (both traditional manned- and electronic-systems), is worth €35bn in Germany alone, relating to the employment of 450,000 people.

For future Anglo-German cooperation – he identified two particular challenges. Firstly, that national and European markets are fragmented , with the rule books defined at a market level. Secondly, that valuable worthwhile research is often not commercialised into marketable products. “Civil security solutions that could have made society safer have not been brought to market,” he said.

Two equivalent opportunities, he identified were to establish trans-national standards to solve fragmentation, and generate scalability and interoperability. Specifically, he suggested, governments should create the infrastructures for companies to commercially develop. He also highlighted a possible role for joint Anglo-German research programmes.

Other speakers at the security event included: Nigel Stanley, Practice Director – Cyber Security, of TÜV Rheinland OpenSky Limited; Dr. Ludwig Fuchs, CEO of Nexis; HOB’s Key Account Manager Thorsten Schwab, Ben Cade, CEO of Trustonic; Paul Brothers, VP Business Development at virtual solution AG; James Kelly, CEO of the British Security Industry Association and Benjamin M. Ott, CEO of OK! Security.

Among other points of the Trustonic talk was the interesting fact that the ARM-friendly Trustonic TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) is used as part of the Google Play system, enabling HD and high-value video content streaming on Android devices, fulfilling Hollywood Studios’ requirements.

The event was hosted by the market research consultants Enviacon, at the London HQ of accountants Blick Rothenberg LLP.

 


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