Kooperation im Kampf gegen Cyberangriffe

Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg has released a guide for businesses on establishing cyber alliances. The innovative concept of these cyber alliances involves multiple companies supporting each other in dealing with cyber attacks, such as by deploying IT specialists. The proactive formation of these alliances aims to ensure quick, targeted, and structured support in times of crisis. The guide offers practical assistance to companies in setting up a cyber alliance, including suggestions for organizational models, as well as sample agreements and contracts.

It is crucial for companies to take the threat of cyber attacks seriously. Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor, and Tourism, welcomed the initiative of Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg to establish business alliances that can better cope with cyber attacks. She emphasized that these cyber alliances allow companies to take additional precautions in the event of a crisis.

The increasing digitalization of products, production processes, and applications has expanded the attack surfaces for cyber criminals. Hacker attacks are frequently making headlines, whether carried out by state actors, cyber criminals involved in organized crime, or amateur hackers. The threat is real, and even small and medium-sized businesses are at risk, either as direct targets of widespread and automated attacks or as part of a supply chain. According to a recent study by the digital association Bitkom, the annual cost of cyber attacks to the German economy is estimated at around €148 billion, €20 billion more than the previous year. 82% of the companies surveyed reported an increase in the number of cyber attacks on their organizations over the past twelve months.

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„These numbers speak for themselves and highlight the threat of such attacks to our economy, which is shaped by increasing digitalization. For this reason, we must be aware of the danger of hacker attacks and work together to protect and defend against them. Digitalization offers tremendous opportunities, but it also comes with the risk of cyber attacks. The ‚Guide to Establishing a Cyber Alliance‘ aims to help companies find a common foundation more quickly and build upon it to establish protection against cyber attacks,“ stated Hoffmeister-Kraut.

Companies must be prepared for the possibility of becoming victims of severe cyber attacks, despite having appropriate IT risk prevention measures in place. The idea of cyber alliances is to offer a solution that enhances companies‘ ability to prepare for such situations. In times of crisis, the support of experts within the cyber alliance can significantly help bridge capacity gaps, leading to faster and better crisis responses, explained Dr. Dietrich Birk, Managing Director of VDMA e.V. Baden-Württemberg, for Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg.

Dealing with severe cyber attacks is a major challenge for businesses and their employees. For example, in order to respond quickly to a crisis, there is often a shortage not only of cybersecurity specialists but also of individuals with basic IT knowledge who can reinstall hundreds or even thousands of IT devices within a short amount of time.

„This is where the idea of cyber alliances comes in,“ explained Dominik Helble, Head of Cyber Security at Festo SE & Co. KG and Leader of the „Cyber Alliances“ project group at Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg. „We have realized that we are often powerless against the threat of cybercrime on our own. By collaborating with other companies in a cyber alliance, we can pool our resources after a severe cyber attack.“

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The guide is intended for companies of all sizes and industries. It provides information on preparing for, establishing, and operating cyber alliances in the business sector. In addition to addressing practical challenges, the guide also covers legal aspects that need to be considered when forming a cyber alliance. Sample agreements and contracts are included to provide legal certainty between alliance partners from the outset.

The Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg is a network initiated and supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor, and Tourism in Baden-Württemberg. Alongside its partner organizations, the alliance combines expertise in production, as well as information and communication technology, and supports small and medium-sized enterprises on their path towards Industry 4.0. The coordination office is located at VDMA e.V. Baden-Württemberg.

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