Fight against electronic crime: Bonn on the way to becoming a cyber capital

Fight against electronic crime : Bonn on the way to becoming a cyber capital

The city of Bonn and fellow campaigners want to focus on protection against internet crime. An association to be founded under the name “Cyber-Security-Cluster Bonn” is to help develop the Bonn/Rhine-Sieg district into a nationally and internationally recognised location.

Cyber attacks are one of the big issues of current times. Companies and institutions in Bonn also regularly feel the pain of being targeted by hackers. The city of Bonn now wants to make a contribution towards the fight against electronically organised crime by joining an association to which institutes from science, business, research and education as well as authorities and other areas of cyber security are committed.

The goal, according to the draft statutes of the yet to be formed association called “Cyber-Security-Cluster Bonn”, is to contribute towards developing and expanding the Bonn/Rhine-Sieg district into a nationally and internationally recognised location for cyber security. The association wants to achieve this goal through close cooperation and networking among members, the acquisition of funding and the promotion of knowledge exchange – through involving the university, for example.

Location of cyber weapons agency still undecided

“Some activities aimed at raising Bonn’s profile as a centre of excellence for cyber security and encouraging public dialogue about these issues have been in existence for several years,” the city administration emphasises in its draft resolution. In 2013, the Fraunhofer FKIE and Deutsche Telekom started the Bonner Dialogue for Cyber Security (BDCS).

The relevant city council technical committee must now decide on the membership, followed by the council itself at its meeting on 27 September. The administration is proposing supporting the association with Euro 15,000 in the first three years. Thereafter, the annual contribution for Bonn will be Euro 10,000.

Meanwhile, the location of the cyber weapons agency planned by the federal government with its around 100 employment posts has not yet been decided, a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Defence told the GA. As reported, the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior are planning to establish the interdepartmental authority. It should enable the federal armed forces and the security authorities to actively prevent cyber attacks. The federal armed forces and the federal Ministry of the Interior will not only invest in new technologies, but will also strengthen their own expert networks and national clusters – which, in turn, would again cover the Bonn Cyber-Cluster.

Bonn as a location for cyber security

The city of Bonn is now home to several public bodies specialising in cyber defence. The largest employer is the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which is to move into a new building opposite the Caesar Research Centre at Bonn’s Rheinaue in a few years with around 900 employees. Directly adjacent, the Bundeswehr’s Cyber and Information Space Command (Kdo CIR) has been leading the newly formed branch of the armed forces since last year, comprising a number of associations based outside Bonn. The federal government’s Information Technology Centre (ITZ) also operates from Bonn, based at Am Probsthof.

(Original text: Rüdiger Franz. Translation: kc)