ESPRI, DPS, TISiM, Transferstelle IT-Sicherheit im Mittelstand
South_agency/ iStock

More cyber security for medium-sized businesses

News from Oct. 06, 2020

TISiM starts nationwide IT support network. Competent support network with funding from the Federal Ministry of Economics helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect themselves against malware, data theft and hacker attacks. Kick-off of the pilot phase with the first 11 regional IHK contact points as part of the it-sa 365. 80 contact points are planned nationwide. TISiM calls on providers and initiatives to participate.

To reliably protect their own company and sensitive data against digital attacks from outside, the “Transferstelle IT-Sicherheit im Mittelstand TISiM” (Transfer Office for IT Security in Medium-sized Businesses) set up by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology now wants to enable the entire spectrum of small and medium-sized companies to do so. On October 6, 2020, on the occasion of “it-sa 365”, the first eleven regional IHK contact points will launch the nationwide support program for small and medium-sized companies. TISiM regional network. Small and medium-sized companies can already receive suggestions for the implementation of IT security measures in the pilot phase via the participating Chambers of Industry and Commerce based in Berlin, Bielefeld, Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, Erfurt, Gera, Hanover, Cologne, Ludwigshafen, Munich, Münster, and Trier. It is planned to set up a total of 80 contact points, including for freelancers and craftsmen.

Platform for easy transfer of information

The wide range of support services is accompanied by a digital platform, the Sec-O-Mat. In the pilot phase until the end of the year, it provides participating companies with typified action plans and supports users in their implementation. Interested parties can use the system on-site at the TISiM regional offices or online at

From January 2021 onwards, Sec-O-Mat, which is based on an intelligent algorithm, will enable a more detailed needs analysis tailored specifically to each company, as well as a correspondingly refined action plan.

The instrument, which was developed under the umbrella of TISiM by DsiN, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer IAO, and the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, helps individual companies to implement IT security measures tailored to their needs. “Based on user input, the smart system determines the individual security requirements. The automatically derived actions are then assigned to the appropriate curated offers,” explains TISiM manager Sandra Balz. The actions are based on the measures of established security catalogs such as BSI IT-Grundschutz and VDS 10000.

Act before it is too late

The Transfer Office IT Security in Medium-Sized Businesses aims to strengthen digital innovations and the competitiveness of the target groups by motivating them to implement tailor-made IT security measures. The number of cyberattacks is increasing, but the dangers for one's own business and the customer environment are still often underestimated, Sandra Balz continues. Protection against cybercrime is a challenge for the entire economy. Small businesses, freelancers, and self-employed persons who do not have their own IT department or special IT expertise are particularly affected. “We are talking about three million potentially affected German companies that are not introducing any or hardly any suitable protective measures due to insufficient expertise and a market for IT security solutions that is difficult to survey. All in all, this has led to a worrying development for the German economy. Corresponding security risks have been further aggravated in the Corona crisis, for example by the necessary relocation of jobs to the home office and the associated decentralization of corporate IT,” says DsiN Managing Director Dr. Michael Littger. It is urgently necessary to counteract this development.

Taking the hurdle together

Together with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the transfer office can build on a strong network of partners and supporters already for the pilot phase. Together with the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) and the Federal Association of IT SMEs (BITMi), the support infrastructure is expected to continue growing into a full operation in early 2021. The pilot phase is designed as a development and evaluation phase. “Our goal is to start with a proven, user-friendly solution from 2021. Therefore we are already hoping for numerous participants and feedback. We are also counting on initiatives and providers to bring in their own IT security and data protection solutions so that Sec-O-Mat and the TISiM regional offices can provide the best possible support to the target groups from 2021 onwards in order to protect their companies,” Sandra Balz continues. “The comprehensive use of TISiM is a decisive factor for cybersecurity in Germany. That's why we are pleased when many companies, initiatives, and providers contact us in Berlin or at TISiM-Regional”.

About the Transfer Office for IT Security in Medium-sized Businesses (TISiM)

TISiM is supported by the Initiative IT Security in the Economy of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. It is a consortium project of renowned institutions with many years of experience in IT security: Deutschland sicher im Netz (DsiN), DIHK, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer IAO, and the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences.