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Professor Dr. Michael Waidner Top researcher in cyber security

Professor Waidner, we read a lot about IT security gaps. How does that affect your personal approach to IT? Many IT products have great benefits for users, whether they are companies or private individuals. Everyday life without this IT is really no longer possible. This also applies to me personally. As someone who has been involved in IT security for a long time, I know the risks. However, I am aware that this is much more difficult for most users of IT.

We know that mass surveillance is a factor through Edward Snowden's revelations. In addition, there are daily reports of loopholes and attacks. What needs to be done? There is a lot to do, but the reassuring thing is that we can actually do something. IT developers need to understand that IT security is an integral part of IT products. Protection based on stand-alone security products such as virus scanners is not enough. This is a matter for both manufacturers and politicians, who can provide better protection for consumers by adopting appropriate standards. I hope that the suggestions I made in my expert report to the NSA committee of enquiry at the German parliament will be implemented. I also see it as a great opportunity for the German economy.

The LOEWE Center for Advanced Security Research Darmstadt (CASED) was founded in 2008. You have been its head for three years now. What are the key features of CASED? Darmstadt is now the most successful location for cyber security research in Germany. More than 300 scientists are conducting research on important cyber security issues there. The success of CASED led to setting up the European Center for Security and Privacy by Design (EC SPRIDE) in 2011, the largest federally funded centre of excellence for cyber security in Darmstadt. Darmstadt's cyber security research is so strong that the DFG (the German Research Foundation) has approved a special research department (SFB) for cyber security issues. It is the first and so far only department of its kind on this topic in Germany. This once again underlines the excellence of the location. The success of CASED is also a success story for LOEWE and the funding policy in Hessen. What is particularly important to you? The improvement of application security is important to me. Users should be able to use IT products and services without having to worry too much about cyber security and still be adequately protected. This would be very valuable for our society and provide a real competitive advantage for companies.

About the Person

  • Director of the LOEWE Centre CASED
  • Head of the Fraunhofer Institute SIT in Darmstadt
  • Expert in the NSA Investigation Committee of the German Bundestag (session of 26.06.2014)

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