The BDS (Association of Self-Employed; “Bund der Selbständigen”) in Kirchheim unter Teck invited again this year to their traditional autumn reception, after the event had been canceled for two years due to the pandemic. 

Members and representatives from business, culture and politics, such as Andreas Schwarz, parliamentary group leader of the Greens of the BW state parliament and member of the Bundestag, as well as representatives of other social organizations came together to listen to the lecture on the topic of the evening. Afterwards, there was an opportunity to exchange ideas over snacks and drinks, to inform each other and to discuss the explosive topic of cybercrime and protective measures. 

The BDS – passionate commitment to entrepreneurship

Dr. Julian Feinauer, founder of Pragmatic Industries and chairman of the BDS, opened the evening and gave a review of the last activities of the BDS, which were complemented by Robert Schmid, co-chairman of the BDS. 

The non-partisan business association BDS was founded by 150 members in 1999. In the meantime, the number of members has grown to over 300. Today the BDS represents local Mittelstand companies and enterprises, with responsible persons from handicraft, trade, industry and services. The focus is on internal company networks and the promotion of communication among them. In this way, the BDS supports the basis for entrepreneurial activity with passionate commitment and has also become an important contact for the city administration, local politics and other organizations. 

The business location Kirchheim unter Teck

Dr. Bader, Lord Mayor of the town of Kirchheim unter Teck, then provided information about the town’s activities, particularly in the further development of the industrial estates. Kirchheim unter Teck is very attractive as a business location, integrated into the economically strong Stuttgart region. Thanks to the A8 Stuttgart-Munich motorway and its proximity to Stuttgart Airport, there are very good connections to both national and international traffic. With its diverse local economic structure, Kirchheim has a high development potential. Current climate protection activities, such as photovoltaic systems, which are taken into account from the outset in the planning of the industrial estates, are intended to ensure sustainable economic activity in Kirchheim unter Teck. The qualitatively and quantitatively suitable supply of space coupled with the conservation of natural resources is the focus of further activities for the business location Kirchheim unter Teck. 

Cyber security as a corporate success factor 

We are pleased that this year Dr. Michael W. Müller, Managing Partner and founder of magility GmbH, has been selected to speak on the evening’s topic “National and international cyber attacks: What are the dangers of the Internet of Things?”.  

The message was clear: the topic of cyber security is more recent than ever before. The impacts on an international, but also on a national and regional level, are getting closer and closer. Cyber criminals are not longer only targeting large corporations. It is also increasingly hitting medium-sized and small companies, as well as public administrations in and around the high-tech metropolitan region of Stuttgart: Pilz, Metabo, Eberspächer, Garp, and Landesmesse Stuttgart. However, these companies are just a few of many that have been affected by cyberattacks in the past two years. The German police recorded more than 120,000 cases of cybercrime in Germany in 2021, and the digital association Bitkom estimates the resulting costs for the German economy at more than 223 billion euros, and rising. The most recent example is the world’s leading automotive supplier Continental: Hackers captured sensitive customer data, strategy papers and documents from the HR division and blackmailed the company with a potential sale of the data: 40 terabytes of data in exchange for 50 million US dollars.

For Michael Müller, this threat situation has been foreseeable for a long time: For several years, he has been working extensively on the topic of cyber security at magility GmbH, especially in the automotive context. Today, cyber security is no longer just anchored at the project level. It now defines the processual framework at the organizational level of companies. The complete digital ecosystem of companies must be protected against attacks. 

Magility Cyber Security GmbH

In order to give this business and future-critical topic a more significant framework, the company Magility Cyber Security GmbH (MCS) was founded at the beginning of 2022. The company, based in Wendlingen am Neckar and integrated into the “High Tech Startup Zentrum Neckarspinnerei Wendlingen“, is a competent partner for the holistic implementation of cyber security management in companies.  MCS also supports companies in the implementation of compliant Cyber Security Management Systems (CSMS) and Software Update Management Systems (SUMS).  In doing so, MCS also benefits from the cyber security knowledge built up over many years and from magility’s international ecosystem. 

Attack targets of the future: an assessment by magility cyber security experts

Apart from the industries currently at risk, cyberattacks will in the future also be directed at targets that have not yet been as prominent in the general public’s awareness:

  • Cybernetic organisms (so-called “cyborgs”) and embedded brain machine interfaces (BMI).
  • Bionic systems (vulnerabilities of bionic technologies, bionic digital/cyber security, biometrics)
  • Biometric authentication methods (biometrics e.g. fingerprint scans, photos, iris scans, voice recognition, face recognition, EEG, ECG, etc.)
  • Behaviometrics analytics (walking, writing, etc.)
  • Networked implantable medical devices (IMDs) such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, etc.
  • Networked therapy devices (MRI, X-ray, anesthesia machines, infusion pumps, etc.)
  • Genetic privacy – digitally stored genetic analysis of DNA; bio hacking (potential threat: biocrime and bioterrorism, identity theft, cloning, etc.)
  • Augmented and virtual reality applications (crimes against personal avatars, gaming, teledildonics, etc.)

An all around successful evening

The topic of cyber security was discussed intensively over snacks and drinks following the presentation. Many were not yet aware of the importance and explosiveness of the topic for their own business activities. One thing remains certain after this evening: there is a great and immediate need for action, also and especially for the medium-sized companies in the region. When it comes to cyber security, companies must take significantly more precautions to protect themselves against data loss and ransomware! In addition to the technological gateways into systems described above, it should not be forgotten that humans are one of the greatest vulnerabilities, so it is urgent to sensitize employees regarding practices that are common today (phishing, spoofing, social engineering attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc.). 

Is your company secure? Are your employees aware of potential risks? Have you already implemented a CSMS in your company? Feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!