Michael Niemeier

Vice President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution


"The state of our cybersecurity increasingly defines the general security situation of our country," said Michael Niemeier, vice president of the BfV. Too little attention has been  paid to this situation for too long. . "For  too long, the basic law of digitalization was speed instead of attentiveness and economic efficiency instead of security," Niemeier said. The fact that this time of  naivety is coming to an end is good news, he said.

High-tech societies have long been the target of cyberattacks. All areas are affected: politics, business, science, and even public opinion. "The list of campaigns and attacks documented by  our company is  long," Niemeier emphasized. And often the motive behind these targeted attacks is to destabilize  societies.

Cybersecurity challenges will continue to increase in the future,. As technical possibilities increase, so does abuse: "Manipulated images and videos can take fake news to a new level," Niemeier warned.

The Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 or the new 5G mobile communications standard will also provide masses of data that are vulnerable to attack. To respond to this, "we need long-term and far-reaching structural adjustments, also in our public authorities," Niemeier declared.  A new technology culture within the public authorities is just as necessary as new international security partnerships, he said. "In the 21st century, only those states can act freely that boldly and securely who adapt their cyber defenses to current technical standards," Niemeier said. This requires highly qualified personnel - a rare resource for which authorities, industry and science stand in competition with each other.