German cybersecurity

(To Alessandro Rugolo)

The cyber world is seen as a risk but for many companies it is also an opportunity. This is the case of four large German companies that in November 2015 decided to team up to defend themselves and offer their services, these are Allianz SE, BASF SE, Bayer AG and Volkswagen AG, united under the name "Deutsche Cyber-Sicherheitsorganisation" (German Cybersecurity Organization) or, in short, DCSO.

The need to face the increasingly complex new challenges and the speed of change in the technological sector leads to aggregation and so the DCSO was born. The main activities include:
- technology scouting, that is the identification of emerging technologies, the gathering of information on the latter and the channeling of information within the organizations that can use it as well as the support in their acquisition;
- threat detection, or the identification of threats, in particular those relating to APT;
- next generation solutions, to search for next-generation cyber security solutions;
- auditing;
- incident response;
- advice.

Some brief considerations

The four Big German companies are not companies that are among those that are normally considered of the sector, yet each of them has its good reasons.

The first, Allianz SE, is a financial services company known to the public for insurance services. In this case, both the need to learn more about the emerging cyber insurance market, and the need to protect its networks and managed data, may have pushed the European giant (130 billions of euros in 2018, 140.000 employees, a profit net of around 7 billion euros) to take care of the sector.

Volkswagen AG could not be missing, both because for more than sixty years there have been partnerships with Allianz SE, both to improve the knowledge of the sector, and in view of the new technologies applied to the automotive sector.

BASF SE, one of the largest chemical companies in the world (62 billion in 2018 sales, around 130.000 employees, 4.7 billion in net income), has chosen to participate in the alliance, probably also driven by the need to protect the their corporate networks from the growing international threat. The growth of attacks on large companies in order to steal industrial secrets is in fact growing, as is the whole sector.

Finally, Bayer AG, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies (about 40 billion in revenue 2018, 111.000 employees, about two billion in profits), I think, driven by the same considerations as BASF.

Naturally, the alliance is also important for the German government, which thus benefits from the attractiveness of the companies and their experience in the various productive sectors, thus pushing the development of the national cyber sector. Although it is still a young company, the conditions for a rapid growth in the cyber world are all there.

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Image: DCSO Deutsche Cyber-Sicherheitsorganisation GmbH