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14.05.2022

"Shaping the Future of High-Tech Bavaria" - Science Minister Blume launches research cluster ForDaySec

How do IT security solutions become suitable for everyday use? Which updates are really necessary? Which data do my smart home devices or my mobile phone store and pass on? On 13 May, Bavaria's Science Minister Markus Blume officially kicked off work in the research cluster "Security in everyday digitalisation" (ForDaySec), which will be researching answers to these urgent questions.

Bayerns Wissenschaftsminister Markus Blume gab den offiziellen Startschuss für die Arbeit des Forschungsverbundes „Sicherheit in der Alltagsdigitalisierung“ (ForDaySec). Foto: Universität Passau

Bavaria's Science Minster Markus Blume was invited to attend the first official work session held by the research cluster "Security in everyday digitalisation" (ForDaySec). Photograph: University of Passau

In its first official work session, the research cluster ForDaySec gave Bavarian Science Minister Markus Blume, retired Science Minister Bernd Sibler and other political representatives a preview of the research work it intends to complete over the next four years.

"Cyber security has a key role to play in our liberal society," underscored Blume. "Digitalisation permeates all areas of life. At the same time, the threat of criminal attacks on digital infrastructure has been growing dramatically. So we decided to provide approx. 3.3 million euros in funds to the Bavarian research cluster ‘ForDaySec – Security in everyday digitalisation’. It's a forward-looking investment in Bavaria's ability to perform and compete as a high-tech state."

The unique selling point of the "ForDaySec" cluster is its targeted, interdisciplinary research into new types of technical procedures providing cybersecurity to private households, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the public administration. To achieve this goal, "ForDaySec" will not only be looking into solutions to enhance security for hardware and software but also explore security concepts that can be implemented without any in-depth knowledge and take into account the requirements of technical data protection. Research resources include jurisprudential papers on update obligations and sociological studies on the use of technology in everyday practical applications.

Five universities in Bavaria are involved in the cluster project with eight sub-projects. They bring together computer scientists, sociologists and legal experts who will be conducting research on how cybersecurity can be established as a firm fixture across society. The Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts has awarded the research cluster a 4-year grant worth EUR 3.3 million.

"We see ourselves as an incubator for answers to complex IT security challenges that can be implemented in everyday life. To ensure everyday digitalisation, we want to reduce the obstacles preventing the deployment of IT security techniques. Especially our interdisciplinary approach will allow us to generate new knowledge to resolve socially relevant problem issues," says Stefan Katzenbeisser, spokesperson of the research cluster ForDaySec and professor for computer engineering at the University of Passau.

Vorne von links: Sabine Toussaint (ForDaySec), Vizepräsident Prof. Dr. Robert Obermaier (Universität Passau), Vizepräsident Prof. Dr. Harald Kosch (Universität Passau), Wissenschaftsminister Markus Blume, Kanzler Dr. Achim Dilling (Universität Passau), Landrat Raimund Kneidinger (Landkreis Passau), MdL Prof. Dr. Gerhard Waschler 2. Reihe von links: 2. Bürgermeister Andreas Rother (Stadt Passau), Altlandrat Franz Meyer (Landkreis Passau), MdL Walter Taubeneder, Wissenschaftsminister a. D. Bernd Sibler, Stellvertretender Landrat Klaus Jeggle (Landkreis Passau) 3. Reihe von links (versetzt): Prof. Dr. Thomas Riehm (Universität Passau), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Felix Freiling (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg), Dr. Henrich C. Pöhls (Universität Passau), Prof. Dr. Johannes Kinder (Universität der Bundeswehr München), Prof. Dr. Stefan Katzenbeisser (Universität Passau), Prof. Dr. Dominik Herrmann (Uni Bamberg), Prof. Dr. Joachim Posegga (Universität Passau)

Front from left to right: Sabine Toussaint (ForDaySec), Vice President Professor Robert Obermaier (University of Passau), Vice President Professor Harald Kosch (University of Passau), Science Minister Markus Blume, Dr. Achim Dilling (Chancellor of the University of Passau), Raimund Kneidinger (Passau District Administrator), Professor Gerhard Waschler (Member of the Bavarian Parliament)

Second row from left to right: Second Mayor of the City of Passau Andreas Rother, Franz Meyer (former Passau District Administrator), Walter Taubeneder (Member of the Bavarian Parliament), Bernd Sibler (former Minister of Science), Klaus Jeggle (deputy Passau District Administrator)

Third row from left to right (staggered): Professor Thomas Riehm (University of Passau), Professor Felix Freiling (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg), Dr. Henrich C. Pöhls (University of Passau), Professor Johannes Kinder (Universität der Bundeswehr München), Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser (University of Passau), Professor Dominik Herrmann (University of Bamberg), Professor Joachim Posegga (University of Passau)

As lead university, the University of Passau is involved in three sub-projects. Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser will be researching ways to encapsulate and monitor vulnerable unalterable end devices. Professor Joachim Posegga and Dr. Henrich C. Pöhls will be exploring methods to securely integrate devices of the Internet of Things into home and business networks. Professor Thomas Riehm will be probing the update obligations and rights of software manufacturers and operators..

Professor Claudia Eckert from Technische Universität München will be exploring ways to integrate unsecure devices of the Internet of Things into secure business infrastructure without incurring any risk.

The Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg will be undertaking two sub-projects within the framework of the research cluster. Professor Felix Freiling and Dr. Zinaida Benenson will be analysing technical data protection in app-controlled devices of the Internet of Things. In another sub-project, Professor Sabine Pfeiffer will be having a look at the everyday practices of users, their skills in operating everyday digital devices and the institutional as well as organisational integration of such practices.

In a sub-project at the University of Bamberg, Professor Dominik Herrmann will be looking for ways to strengthen the data protection competency of software developers using software components and training environments while placing a special focus on usability and explainability.

The Universität der Bundeswehr München is an associated partner in the research cluster. Professor Johannes Kinder will be researching ways to harden firmware components without the manufacturer's support. Research cluster ForDaySec - Security in everyday digitalisation

Text: Katrina Jordan

The FORDaySec research cluster – Security in everyday digitalisation

The FORDaySec research cluster – Security in everyday digitalisation

Coordinated by the University of Passau, the interdisciplinary research cluster "ForDaySec – Security in everyday digitalisation" is investigating new types of technical procedures that provide cybersecurity to private households, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the public administration.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Katzenbeisser

Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser

researches cyber security and technical data protection

How can critical infrastructures in a networked world be protected against cyber attacks?

How can critical infrastructures in a networked world be protected against cyber attacks?

Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser holds the Chair of Computer Engineering at the University of Passau. He conducts research on cyber security in embedded systems, on secure critical infrastructures and on technical data protection. He is spokesperson of the new research cluster "ForDaySec - Security in everyday digitalisation", which is funded by the Bavarian Science Ministry and where researchers from computer science, law and sociology have come together to develop new types of technical procedures to provide security in day-to-day digital life. Besides participating in research projects on secure mobility, he is also involved in the research initiative "6G Research and Innovation Cluster (6G-RIC)" which is coordinated by Fraunhofer HHI and aims to develop mobile telecommunication systems of the sixth generation by pushing back the limits of technology.

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