Klaus Vitt

State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior


The digital world makes everyday life and communication easier,, but it also means that "digital vulnerability is increasing," said Klaus Vitt in his keynote address. Rules are therefore needed, because "one of the core tasks of the state is to protect its citizens." Progressive digitization in all areas of life poses major challenges for security authorities and policymakers, but at the same time it holds great opportunities. This also includes making the administration of the authorities more efficient, so that citizens can be spared visits to public offices in the future.

According to Vitt, however, the digitization of administration is inextricably linked to cybersecurity and data protection. "Citizens expect efficient processing, but above all they expect their data to be handled securely," Vitt said. The Interior Ministry is responding to the growing threat of cyberattacks with a whole range of measures, he said. These include the Cybersecurity Agency, which is a new federal agency given the task of warding  off hacker attacks on military and civilian facilities, he said. At the same time, data storage deadlines would be adjusted, monitoring options and reporting requirements for companies expanded, and cybercriminal law revised and tightened.

"We are confronted with threat scenarios that are constantly changing in nature and intensity," explained Vitt. To respond to these threats, a uniform European approach is necessary, he said. At the same time, powers of intervention, responsibilities of authorities and decision-making channels must be clarified. "The increasing number of cyber incidents reminds us that cybersecurity does not stop at national borders," Vitt said.