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3 + 1 brief questions about IT and cyber security to: Arne Schönbohm, President of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

Mar 20, 2018

If you are going to have digitalisation, then you must have cyber security. The BSI is working jointly and decisively on the political framework and has launched a series of initiatives which explain the situation to both commercial and private users, helping them to protect themselves against criminal attacks. Messe Frankfurt spoke to the President of the BSI, Arne Schönbohm, about the challenges and opportunities involved.  

1. You are introducing the subject of cyber security in digitalisation at the Intersec Forum. What are the next major challenges?

Digitalisation is in full spate and is creating new challenges every day, e.g. for the smart home and smart factory, or for the internet of things. There will be no successful digitalisation without cyber security. The BSI is giving help in successful digitalisation, for example with modernised, basic IT protection of a practical kind, or facilities for certifying products and services.

2. If we break this down into intelligent building technology and infrastructures: what are the major challenges there?

Convenience and ease of operation are major criteria when selecting solutions for the intelligent home, but they are not sufficient. Without security mechanisms users will not enjoy their smart home for long. So, before buying an IoT or smart-home solution, people should ask how secure it is against attacks by unauthorised parties, what data are collected, and how they are stored, in particular when the data in question are personal data.

3. "Smart and secure living": what is the application which you personally would no longer like to do without?

I often use mobile solutions, and I like doing so, and I have secured them in accordance with the recommendations of the BSI at

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Intersec Forum

Intersec Forum is held annually under the motto ‘Security meets Smart Building: digitalisation and security in tomorrow’s buildings’ and concurrently with the leading international trade fairs, Light + Building and ISH. From 19 to 23 March 2018, Intersec Forum is being held in Hall 9.1 of Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology. Further information at:, and

Safety, Security & Fire

In the expanding international field of civil security, Messe Frankfurt belongs to the leading fair and congress organisers with ten events around the world. The events for the safety, security and fire sector are held in Europe, Asia, the Near and Middle East and South America, and offer optimum access to these dynamic growth markets.
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Background information on the Institute for Security Systems (ISS)

The Institute for Security Systems (ISS) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the University of Wuppertal and based in Velbert. Its work revolves around fundamental technical and social issues relating to the protection of people and the infrastructure whereby the focus of the interdisciplinary research is on the evaluation of innovative security systems in terms of safety, security, reliability and efficiency.

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Background information on the ZVEI

The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. – ZVEI) represents the interests of 1,600 companies of the electrical industry and associated service companies in Germany. The impulses for one in three innovations in the German processing industry originate in the electrical industry. The sector employs 853,000 people in Germany and more than 706,000 abroad. Further information:

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €661* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). * preliminary figures for 2017

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