Prof. Christoph Meinel

In his opening speech at the 7th Potsdam Conference on National Cyber Security, Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel, Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute, stressed the nature of cybersecurity as an international challenge. "Today is ‘Constitution Day,’” Meinel said,  “and it is also an appropriate date for our conference because the question of how the constitution can also be protected successfully in cyberspace is gaining in importance all the time."

The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, with more and more people as well as machines connecting through cyberspace. "Something is happening here that has never  happened before in the annals  of human history. We have learned to deal with space, time and gravity. Now a new, second level is emerging: the digital one, which is subject to completely different laws. Space and time are no longer relevant. . It is up to us to learn how to deal with this new digital world," Meinel said. 

The fact that the topic of cybersecurity is often not given the weight that it should is seen in the  current alarming figures. Meinel said that  123456 still remains the most popular password, and every month there are about 30 million identity thefts in which passwords and usernames are stolen by cybercriminals. "The problem is exacerbated by the fact that in the case of one-third of this data, the password exists as plain text with service providers. Many of the  responsible parties don't think about this," Meinel explained.

Research is currently underway at HPI on a whole range of innovative security tools and services. These include research projects in the area of the Internet of Things, blockchain technology, secure authentication with BAuth ( Behavioral Authentication) and a machine-readable database on vulnerabilities in software and hardware. However, HPI is also committed to digital education and, for example, offers free courses on IT security topics via its interactive online education platform openHPI.de.

More information on the Hasso Plattner Institute projects presented by Prof. Meinel: