Intelligent infrastructures, cloud computing, and public safety are associated with enormous challenges to be met by the future security of IT systems. For Germany to be able to face these big challenges in the long term, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has now selected three competence centers. KASTEL, the Competence Center for Applied IT Security Technology, will be established at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The other two competence centers will be located at Darmstadt and Saarbrücken.
The Competence Center for Applied IT Security Technology at KIT will cover various disciplines of IT security and users. KASTEL will focus on questions like: What is security? Which security and data protection requirements have to be met by applications like smart grids, cloud computing, and IT-supported public safety measures. Hence, KASTEL will cover legal, social as well as technical aspects. When safeguarding public areas, for instance, data protection also has to be taken into account.
“In addition to the classical protection of the periphery, threats from inside have to be repelled. And it is no longer sufficient to consider the safety of partial systems,” emphasizes Professor Müller-Quade, Head of the KIT Institute of Cryptography and Security and one of the initiators of KASTEL. He thinks that comprehensive, integrated methods are required. KASTEL therefore bundles the competences of various disciplines. “It is the objective to develop holistically secure systems, initially as prototypes,” says Müller-Quade.
KASTEL has a dynamic structure to rapidly respond to current requirements in terms of IT security. Its spectrum of activities extends from fundamental research to the function as a “help desk” for industry. Apart from research, KASTEL includes a qualification concept with studies, doctorates, and advanced training.
The three strategic centers will be funded by the BMBF with a total of about EUR 17 million for four years initially. It is the overall objective to strengthen the expertise of German research and industry in the field of cyber security.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.