Transferstelle im Rahmen der Initiative “IT-Sicherheit in der Wirtschaft“ des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)

Jan. 01, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2023

At the beginning of 2020, the three-year project “Transferstelle IT-Sicherheit im Mittelstand (TISiM)“ (Transfer Point for IT Security in Business), was launched as part of the “IT-Sicherheit in der Wirtschaft“ (IT-security in the economy) initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Within this framework, the business units Digital Public Services (DPS) and Electronic Safety Systems (ESPRI) of the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS support medium-sized enterprises with up-to-date information and practical training to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

Task / Problem Definition

Digital technologies increase the opportunities to operate in markets, to identify value creation and savings potential, and to become more efficient. However, information security in companies often lags behind the opportunities offered by digital transformation. Dangers are not recognized or are incorrectly assessed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular often lack the financial resources and competencies to introduce and implement an IT security management system.

Many SMEs are faced with the challenge to find and implement the right services from a multitude of existing offers. The BMWi has therefore decided to establish a “Transfer Point for IT Security in Business“, which will support companies throughout Germany in their individual situations.

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier: “The middle class is a guarantor of growth, innovation and employment in Germany. However, small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are increasingly falling victim to cyber-attacks. With the Transfer Point, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs is now, for the first time, creating a contact point for IT security specifically for SMEs and the trade industry. With concrete and practical information and support services, we want to make companies ready to deal with the dangers posed by cyberattacks.“

Solution approach

Starting in the summer of 2020, small and medium-sized enterprises will be referred to suitable offers that have been previously curated by the transfer point- according to their characteristics, such as size, industry and IT architecture. The contact will be made digitally as well as on site: To this end, 80 showcases will be set up at chambers and other contact points. Mobile teams of advisors will also be available throughout Germany.

As part of the project, the two institutes Fraunhofer FOKUS and Fraunhofer IAO will develop a solution that enables SMEs to detect potential hazards for their company without extensive preliminary work. In addition, they will receive concrete recommendations for actions regarding IT security measures within the company. In this way, the project contributes to making relevant IT security knowledge and offers easily accessible and to enhancing the workforce's awareness of threat situations.

Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer IAO, Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V. (DSiN, consortium leader), the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mannheim University are cooperating in the “IT Security in Business“ transfer point project. 

Sec-O-Mat operational as of spring 2021

On April 15, 2021, TISiM released the Sec-O-Mat: with this tool, small and medium-sized businesses, self-employed and freelancers can create online a customized action plan for more IT security.

Partners of the consortium project

Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer IAO, Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V. (DSiN, consortium leader), the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the University of Mannheim cooperated in the project Transferstelle “IT-Sicherheit in der Wirtschaft“. The Transfer Office IT Security in SMEs was funded by the IT Security in Business initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.