The Bundeswehr Cyber and Information Space Command and the Fraunhofer FKIE form Alliance for IT Security

26.11.2018

The close cooperation between the Bundeswehr Cyber and Information Space Command (KdoCIR) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE is based on a new foundation. Major General Juergen Setzer, deputy inspector of the Cyber and Information Space Command, and Prof. Dr. Peter Martini, director of the Fraunhofer FKIE, have now signed an agreement to collaborate even more closely in the field of cyber security.

© Volker Lannert
In the future, the Cyber and Information Space Command (KdoCIR) and the Fraunhofer FKIE will work together even more closely. The deputy inspector of KdoCIR Major General Juergen Setzer and FKIE institute director Prof. Dr. Peter Martini signed a collaboration agreement to that effect today.
© Volker Lannert
Festive signing of the agreement at the FKIE site in Bad Godesberg (left to right): Dr. Michael Wunder, head of the Information Technology for Command Systems department at the Fraunhofer FKIE, Major General Juergen Setzer, deputy inspector Cyber and Information Space (KdoCIR) of the German Armed Forces, Prof. Dr. Peter Martini, director of Fraunhofer FKIE, Ursula Fuchs, administrative director of the Fraunhofer FKIE, Brigadier General Armin Fleischmann, head of planning at KdoCIR, Dr. Markus Antweiler, deputy director of the FKIE, Dr. Elmar Padilla, head of Cyber Analysis & Defense at the Fraunhofer FKIE.

With the ever-expanding threat of hacker attacks across all areas of society, it is quickly becoming evident that only a common national strategy can ensure a high level of cyber security in Germany in the future. Against this backdrop, the signatories agreed that an intensive, regular exchange of experience and mutual shadowing programs would promote knowledge transfer from which the employees of both the KdoCIR and the Fraunhofer FKIE would benefit.

»The Bundeswehr and the FKIE are linked by long-standing cooperation and mutual trust. With its application-focused research, our institute is already making an important contribution to securing the systems and networks of the Bundeswehr. This collaboration agreement creates more opportunities to break new ground, especially in the area of cyber security,« explained Professor Martini at the signing ceremony. In IT forensics, for example, joint exercises with mixed teams will be carried out aimed at identifying and analyzing current risk situations, threat scenarios, attack tools and perpetrator groups.

Major General Setzer sees the cooperation between the KdoCIR and the Fraunhofer FKIE as potentially offering significant added value. »Cyber security plays a central role in our increasingly digitalized world. Attacks on our extensive, networked Bundeswehr IT system occur daily and require a continuous hardening of our network, including network access. In these fields, the Fraunhofer Institute FKIE is a pace-setter for research in secure, virtual data environments and pathways. With our collaboration agreement, we are taking a groundbreaking step to mitigate current security risks and counter future threats.« Together, they could make an important contribution to cyber security in Germany, Setzer believes.

Another issue currently occupying all of the key players in cyber security is the lack of skilled personnel. The tense market for skilled staff in the IT sector is also one of the decisive spheres of activity for the deputy inspector CIR. »Based on our Cyber Community concept, we want to recruit external cyber experts for the Cyber Reserve and thus offer the ability to collaborate in various fields via an internet platform, for instance,« says Major General Setzer. Here, too, the Bundeswehr and the Fraunhofer FKIE will to break new ground together in the future, providing mutual support in initial and advanced training of IT security experts.

Active membership in the newly founded Cyber Security Cluster Bonn

Both KdoCIR and the Fraunhofer FKIE are founding members of the recently established Cyber Security Cluster Bonn. The association has set itself the goal of strengthening the network of the major Bonn-based players in the cyber security field and optimally combining their competencies. Professor Martini is the deputy chairman of the cluster, General Setzer represents the KdoCIR on the advisory board, which also includes the vice president of the BSI and the president of the Bonn police department. »The Cyber Security Cluster Bonn sees itself as an army of the good guys. Every building block that leads to better collaboration and thus to more cyber security is important,« said Professor Martini at the signing ceremony.

The Cyber and Information Space (CIR) Command is the newest organizational area of the Bundeswehr. It has overall responsibility for the dimension of cyber and information space and ensures the operations and protection of the Bundeswehr's IT system, both at home and in deployed environments. It strengthens and develops capabilities for reconnaissance and action in the cyber and information space are strengthened and further developed. In addition, the CIR command supports all other areas of the Bundeswehr with the Geoinformation System of the Bundeswehr. By fulfilling its mandate, engaging in exchanges and collaboration with other institutions, it contributes to overall national security.

At its core, the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE is geared towards supporting government institutions in the field of external and internal security. Strategic cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, the Federal Office for Information Security and the Federal Police is of critical importance. In the economic sector, the FKIE focuses on security at airports, in air traffic, for maritime systems and in the IT sector. With its approximately 450 employees at its Bonn and Wachtberg locations, the FKIE is a leading institute for applied research and practical innovation in information and communication technology as well as in the field of human-oriented technology design.