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Small and medium-sized companies are often put off by the expenses involved in procuring the necessary technical infrastructure and the organizationally correct operation of encryption technologies. This is the finding of the BMWi study “ Use of electronic encryption – obstacles for the economy ”. The current Kaspersky Report confirms the risks. Information shared by the security company indicates that in the second half of 2017 industrial automation systems and computers of industrial control systems were specially targeted by more frequent cyber attacks. The energy sector is apparently the most popular target. The figures show that nearly 40% of its industrial computers were attacked by malware at least once in the evaluation period. In the engineering sector, the figure exceeded one third (35.3%).

The authors of the encryption study commissioned by BMWi state that small and medium-sized companies “essentially have a high level of awareness of the importance of encryption in the company” (94%). But there is a problem with the implementation of such solutions. The most frequently mentioned obstacle is insufficient competency for the implementation (56%). The report finds particularly conspicuous the fact that although engineering and plant construction attain a high level of IT maturity, which means the SMEs in that sector are dependent on functional IT, the implementation status of encryption technologies in these companies is comparatively low.

Could this then perhaps be a good time to pick up some detailed information on encryption at the upcoming Hannover Fair? A first port of call could be the shared stand of the VDMA on the subject of Industrial Security ( Hall 6, stand D02/2 ). The interdisciplinary working group of the VDMA of the same name is building a knowledge network consisting of manufacturers, integrators, operators, service providers, research, and authorities. The team of that competence center is developing product-specific recommendations and solutions — for example for building automation, for energy generation systems, and for agricultural engineering.