Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI

Potsdam Conference for National CyberSecurity

April 19-20, 2023

Dr. Markus Richter
Dr. Markus Richter, CIO of the German Government, at the Potsdam Conference for National CyberSecurity 2022

On April 19 and 20, 2023, high-ranking representatives of German and international security authorities as well as experts from politics, business and academia came together at HPI to analyze the cybersecurity situation and exchange views on current and future challenges.

Prof. Christian Dörr

Our program chair HPI Professor Dr. Christian Dörr, Head of the Cybersecurity - Enterprise Security research group, shed light on the important issues surrounding digital sovereignty in Germany, in international comparison and for each individual.

Keynote Speaker:

Markus Grünewald

Dr. Markus Grünewald, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and for Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg

1982 | Olpe Municipal Grammar School | Abitur (A-levels)
10/1986 | Dipl. Verwaltungswirt (FH) | Studies at the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein
10/1990 | 1st State Examination in Law | Freiburg
10/1993 | 2nd State Law Examination | Düsseldorf
05/1995 | Doctor of Laws | Bonn
Professional career
1993 to 1999 | Director of the Unterspreewald Office
1999 to 2020 | Head of Department 31 (Municipal Law) in the MIK
04/2020 to 11/2020 Head of the Municipal Department in the MIK
since 10/11/2020 | State Secretary

Wilfried Karl

Wilfried Karl, President of the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS)

Wilfried Karl has been President of the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS) since June 1, 2017. From 1993 to 2017, he was entrusted with various tasks within the Technical Intelligence Division of the Federal Intelligence Service, most recently as acting head of department. Prior to that, he worked as a freelance engineer. Mr. Karl received his diploma in electrical engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen.


Holger Münch

Holger Münch, President of the Federal Criminal Police Office

After training as a police officer, Münch initially worked in the police service in Bremen and in personal protection in the BKA. Following his studies at the Police Management Academy, he then held various management positions with the police and the Senator for the Interior in Bremen from 1995. In 2009, he was appointed Police President of Bremen, followed by his appointment as State Councilor at the Senator for the Interior and Sport in Bremen in 2011. Holger Münch has been President of the Federal Criminal Police Office since 2014.


Dr. Gerhard Schabhüser

Dr. Gerhard Schabhüser, Vice President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

Dr. Gerhard Schabhüser took office as Vice President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on January 1, 2017. Gerhard Schabhüser has been employed at the BSI since 1991. Initially, his work focused on the development and evaluation of cryptographic procedures. He then headed the Cryptography and Scientific Foundations department. From 2005 to the end of 2016, he was head of the department responsible for cryptography, scientific coordination and technical security of classified information.


Sinan Selen

Sinan Selen, Vice President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution

Vice President Sinan Selen was born in Istanbul/Turkey in 1972. He studied law at the University of Cologne with a focus on domestic and judicial policy in Europe/European law. From 2000 to 2006, he performed various tasks in the field of police state protection and personal protection at the Federal Criminal Police Office. At the end of 2006, he moved to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, where he was entrusted with the management of the unit "Foreigner Terrorism and Foreigner Extremism" within the Counter-Terrorism Staff. From 2009 to 2012, he worked at the Federal Police Headquarters as a permanent deputy to the Head of Department for Combating Crime, during which time he dealt, among other things, with the subject areas of smuggling and combating piracy. From 2012, he was in charge of operational counterterrorism issues in the Public Security Department of the BMI. In 2016, Selen moved to the TUI Group, where he established a group-wide security structure. He has been vice president at the BfV since January 21, 2019.

Generalmajor Jürgen Setzer

Generalmajor Jürgen Setzer, Deputy Inspector Cyber and Information Command

Major General Jürgen Setzer joined the Bundeswehr in 1980 and studied computer science.  He completed both German and U.S. general staff training. He has served in command and staff positions at almost all levels. In this context, he was deployed several times to the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Since 2018, Major General Jürgen Setzer has been Deputy Inspector Cyber and Information Command (CIR), CISOBw and Space Representative of CIR Command.

Wolfgang Wien

Wolfgang Wien, Vice President of the Federal Intelligent Service (BND)

Major General Wolfgang Wien has been BND Vice President since 2021. Born in 1963, he trained as a military service officer in the army and studied economics. From 1995, Wien underwent general staff training at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College. After a variety of assignments, he became Office Manager to State Secretary Hoofe in the Federal Ministry of Defense in 2014 and Deputy to the German Military Representative to NATO and the EU as well as Chief of Staff in 2017.

John Engates

John Engates, Cloudflare, Field CTO

John Engates is Field Chief Technology Officer at Cloudflare and leads the global Field CTO organization. With nearly 30 years of experience, he has also held CTO positions at NTT Global Networks and Rackspace Technology, Inc. John's expertise has helped drive innovation and growth at several companies. He founded one of the first ISPs in his home state of Texas and has since advised numerous startups and currently serves on the board of a private manufacturer in Texas.

Dr. Pascal van Overloop

Dr. Pascal van Overloop, Microsoft Deutschland, Industry Advisor Defense & Intelligence

Dr. Pascal van Overloop is involved in the application of digital technologies for defense and intelligence at Microsoft Germany. Previously, he spent ten years advising national and international defense customers on possible scenarios, the required capability portfolio and the adaptation of future technologies. During his active officer career, he not only experienced the operational requirements of modern military operations, but was also able to contribute to research, teaching and consulting on the management and future development of the Bundeswehr.


Panel topics and speaker:

Panel: Cybersecurity and Digital Sovereignty

The digitally sovereign state can ensure functioning infrastructure at home and defend its interests externally. Digital sovereignty and cybersecurity are thus closely intertwined. Various international conflicts and crises have highlighted the dependency risk and made the need for higher national and European sovereignty visible. In this program block, we address the question of digital sovereignty and how we achieve it, especially in balance with the role and requirements of our economy.

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christian Dörr

Matthias Assel, Thales Deutschland GmbH, Director R&D SIX

Andreas Könen, Head of Department Cyber and Information Security at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI)

Jörg Kremer, Acting Head of Federal IT Cooperation (FITKO)

Klaus Lenssen, CSO of the Cisco Deutschland

Georges Welz, CEO Delos Cloud GmbH


Panel: Employee Awareness - Best Practices

8 out of 10 successful attacks on companies start with the human factor, e.g. through phishing, lost or misused access data. However, the human factor is not only a main gateway for cyber attacks but also one of the best defenses against them - provided employees are trained and motivated to counter these threats effectively. In this program block, we will address the topic of employee awareness, share experiences on designing and implementing effective awareness programs, and discuss how employees can become a core pillar of cybersecurity.

Moderation: Dr. Michael Littger, CEO Deutschland sicher im Netz e. V.

Nicola Appel, Cybersecurity Awareness & Communications Deutsche Bahn AG

Marc Fliehe, TÜV Association, Head of Digitization and Education

Marc Lindike, Security Evangelist

Dr. Stefan Saatmann, Siemens, Global Coordinator Cybersecurity Policy

Prof. Dr. Martina Angela Sasse, Ruhr University Bochum, Head of research group "Human centered security"


Panel: The cyber security situation in Germany

In the recent past, cyber attacks have increased significantly in quantity and quality. Foreign cyber actors target the Federal Republic of Germany and individual companies and persons. Furthermore, in recent years, we are witnessing an increasing intertwining of the actions of nation states and cybercrime. This program block discusses the current cyber threat situation and risks for society and companies. We venture an outlook on possible future scenarios and how we can protect ourselves against these threats.

Moderation: Heinz Kreuter, Wirtschaftsforum der SPD, Member of the Presidium

Sabine Griebsch, GovThings, Managing Director

Dr. Sven Herpig, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, Director for Cybersecurity Policy and Resilience

Timo Keim, ESG Elektroniksystem und Logistik GmbH, Senior Intelligence Expert 

Dr. Stefan Pütz, Deutsche Telekom AG, Chief Information Security Officer

Frank Rieger, Chaos Computer Club, Spokesman


Panel: Protection of critical infrastructures and Industry 4.0

70% of critical infrastructures in Germany are privately owned, yet a failure has far-reaching consequences for the well-being of our society. With the digitalization of value chains across the industry, vulnerability to cyberattacks is also increasing. This program block addresses the threats to Industry 4.0 - especially to critical infrastructure. We discuss which approaches and incentives are possible and practicable to effectively protect operators of industrial facilities.

Moderation: Dr. Tim Stuchtey, Executive Director of the BIGS- Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security

Mike Hart, Google Mandiant, Vice President Western Europe at Mandiant

Marian Rachow, CEO Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity GmbH

Prof. Dr. Christian Rossow, CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, Head of System Security Research Group

Miriam Schnürer, Bundesverband für den Schutz Kritischer Infrastrukturen, Member of the Board

Hiltrud Dorothea Werner, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board

Dr. Patrick Wittenberg, CEO Westnetz GmbH


Panel: Supply Chain Security

In 62% of cases, the supply chain was the responsible gateway of cyber attacks (source: Verizon Data Breach Incident Report 2022). Today, widespread and globalized supply chains confront companies with complex challenges that need to be addressed with technical and organizational measures. In this program block, we discuss the supply chain security issue, highlighting both risks and measures to deal with this growing threat.

Moderation: Johannes Steger

Dr. Jörg-Alexander Albrecht, VMware Deutschland, Director Government Affairs

Andreas Bogk, Stadler Rail AG, CISO

Kay Euler, CEO OneFiber Interconnect Germany

Dr. Michael Lemke, CSO Huawei Technologies Germany

Prof. Dr. Michael Waidner, Institute Director of Fraunhofer SIT


Panel: Cyberwar - War scenario of the future

In recent years, several states have successfully used offensive cyber operations to support their political agendas. At the latest with the Ukraine war, it is clear to the general public that the war of the future will be a hybrid war, fought not only between nation states but also against corporations and by non-state actors. In this program block, we discuss this development: what does it mean for the state's scope of action and its monopoly on using force? How can we as a state and society prepare for this scenario, and how do we achieve norms for cyberspace?

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christian Dörr

Dr. Regine Grienberger, Federal Foreign Office's cyber ambassador

Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the German Bundestag, CDU

Prof. Dr. Sönke Neitzel, University of Potsdam, Chair of War Studies

Generalmajor Jürgen Setzer, Deputy Inspector Cyber and Information Command

Dr. Pascal van Overloop, Microsoft Deutschland, Industry Advisor Defense & Intelligence

Dr. Martin C. Wolff, Head of the International Clausewitz Center (ICZ) at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College


Spotlight Talk: Information War and Fake News

Florian Flade, Journalist (WDR, NDR, Süddeutsche Zeitung)


Panel: Cooperation between politics, industry and science

Today's cybercrime has become successful through the division of labor, specialization, and innovative business models. We know that attackers dynamically collaborate to share information about victims, tools, and techniques. To survive in this competition, we as defenders must also work together to share human and material resources and knowledge. Together we are stronger, yet cybersecurity collaboration between policymakers, industry, and academia is rare in practice. In this program block, with representatives from these fields, we ask why? What are the barriers, how can collaboration succeed, and what potential needs to be leveraged?

Moderation: Teresa Ritter, GovTech Campus Deutschland, Senior Associate

Prof. Dr. Claudia Eckert, Fraunhofer-Institut AISEC, Managing Director

Markus Hartmann, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Cologne Public Prosecutor's Office and Head of the Central and Contact Point Cybercrime North Rhine-Westphalia (ZAC NRW)

Prof. Dr. Christian Hummert, Agency for Innovation in Cybersecurity, Research Director

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schieferdecker, Head of Department at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Hartfrid Wolff, Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), Head of Communication Department

Photo Gallery: Potsdam Conference for National CyberSecurity 2023

Photos: HPI/K. Herschelmann