Dirk Backofen

T-Systems International GmbH, Head of Telekom Security

"The cyber threat is growing exponentially," said Dirk Backofen. As head of Telekom Security, he is confronted with the growing threat of cyber attacks on a daily basis. On average, there are currently 31 million attacks on German Telekom's infrastructure, he said. In 2018, there were already  12 million. Who is behind them, and where do these attacks come from? These are the questions that the security department at T-Systems International GmbH is dealing with in-depth. .

"The advantages of digitization are at the same time a risk," Backofen admits. His company observes between three and eight completely new, previously unknown attack patterns every day. Attacks via robots are also rising tremendously. In April, 5.3 trillion botnet packets were detected by Telekom Security. A year ago, the figure was 330 billion. What is particularly dangerous is that many users do not even notice that they are unintentionally becoming part of a botnet. This is because malware installs itself on the many smart devices that are  found more and more in households. The smart home is a point of attack that is  steadily becoming the focus of attackers. Power grids, energy plants, financial service providers and cars are also increasingly affected, he said.

"It is a social responsibility to share knowledge about cybersecurity," Backofen emphasized. Attacks take place predominantly via networks (51 percent), via SSH/console (26 percent), via passwords (7 percent) and websites (5 percent), he said. Government agencies are also becoming more and more  affectedwith massive attacks using a variety of tools,” he said,.

"We can only counter these exponentially growing attacks together. In doing so, we must be fast and do it as a unified force of man;  and we must always be on guard. Cooperation between politics, academia and business, between the public and private sectors is a must. We need an army of the good guys,”  says Backofen.