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3 + 1 questions about IT and cyber security to: Lukas Linke, expert in cyber security at the Association for Security in the Central Association of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Industries (ZVEI – Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V.)

Feb 21, 2018

Digitalisation and connectivity are placing heavy demands on IT and cyber security, as are security systems which protect people and assets. Messe Frankfurt spoke to Lukas Linke, expert in cyber security at the Association for Security in the Central Association of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Industries (ZVEI – Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V.), about the challenges and opportunities.

Why is IT and cyber security so important to security technology?

Security technology is about to undergo a major change as a result of digitalisation and networking. Those systems which have been strictly separated so far will become more open and communicate with each other increasingly via numerous interfaces and public data channels such as the internet, and with other building-technology systems. Without sufficient protection the result may be breakdowns in availability and even manipulation of functionalities in the systems and equipment. This cannot be tolerated, since security systems must protect people and assets in all circumstances – not just in critical infrastructures. In this process we must not forget detailed data-protection regulations, without which the necessary user acceptance cannot be achieved.   

In your view, what are the biggest obstacles to the further development of IT and cyber security in the security-technology area?

Legislators, industry and users must rapidly create a reliable framework of conditions for the use of IT and cyber security in security technology. Otherwise we run the risk that, in the absence of guidelines, potentially unsecure systems may find their way onto the market.

“Security-by-design” must become a natural component of product development. It is on this basis that the processes of all players (manufacturers, installers, integrators, operators, etc.) must be founded, processes which will implement cyber security across all the different areas of responsibility, over the whole life cycle. It is the task of standardisation, in turn, to ensure that all concepts fit together. In this task there must a joint basis for cyber security at all times, and then – depending on the industry or business – provisions which go beyond that basis. Businesses can and will be able to achieve differentiation in the market via security, too. All this is easier said than done and needs to be constantly embedded at European level. The ZVEI, among others, has already seized the initiative here in a position paper with its French partner association, the FIECC (Fédération des Industries Electriques, Electroniques et de Communication).

What are your recommendations for the coming tasks needed to develop IT and cyber security further in security technology?

Industrial automation has already made significant progress with the implementation of Industry 4.0 in IT and cyber security. The ZVEI Automation Association has produced numerous white papers and guidelines on this subject. Security technology can also benefit from these, particularly since the requirements are similar in both areas: numerous processes, including those impacting on the security of individuals, must run without time-lag in quasi real time, and a system breakdown cannot be tolerated.

Involvement and discussion between all participants is particularly important, i.e. between legislators, associations, manufacturers, planners, installers and users. Therefore, you really ought to visit the Messe Frankfurt Intersec Forum from 19 to 23 March 2018, where challenges and solutions for IT and the cyber security of networked systems will be discussed as a focal topic of their own, and all market participants will be present.

Which is your favourite gimmick, or the electronic achievement you personally would no longer like to do without?

I can’t decide. Perhaps my new electric toothbrush, but definitely the budget-plan app.

Which particularly challenging fact in your area of work would you like to tell us about?

There are three, which you need to see together. The first space shuttle had 400,000 lines of programming code; all Google services together amount to 2,000,000,000 lines of code (source: Wired Magazine 2016). And in every 100,000 lines there is approximately one weak point. Our work will not be getting less..

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Intersec Forum

Under the title “Security meets Smart Building: Digitalisation and security in the building of the future”, the Intersec Forum meets annually and in parallel with leading trade fairs Light + Building and ISH. In 2018 the Intersec Forum from 19 to 23 March will have its venue in the immediate environment of Light + Building, leading international trade fair for light and building services technology in Hall 9.1. Additional information at, und

Safety, Security & Fire

In the expanding international field of civil security, Messe Frankfurt belongs to the leading fair and congress organisers with nine 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.
Further information at

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.
Further information:

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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