LUH President V. Epping, Minister of Economics B. Althusmann, CISPA Director M. Backes, Minister of Science B. Thümler
Strategic research cooperation between Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) and the CISPA Helmholtz Centre for Information Security from Saarbrücken (CISPA)
Digitisation offers extraordinary opportunities for the economy and society, but in the process, it also creates considerable risks of espionage, manipulation and threats to privacy. Cyber attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated; the threat in this respect has recently increased considerably in Germany. A strategic research cooperation in Hannover will be dedicated to the topics of cyber security and data protection in the coming years. To this end, the CISPA Helmholtz Centre for Information Security from Saarbrücken (CISPA) and the L3S Research Centre of Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) will work closely together in future and establish a so-called dependent branch of CISPA in Hannover. The state of Lower Saxony is supporting the cooperation on the main topics of "Usable Security and Privacy" and "Industrial Security" with around ten million euros from the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Economics. The cooperation agreement was signed last year. Due to the pandemic, the official opening of the CISPA satellite could not take place at that time. This has now been made up for in a ceremony at Leibniz Universität Hannover.
In addition to Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, President of LUH, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Backes, founding director and CEO of CISPA, the Lower Saxony Minister for Science and Culture, Björn Thümler, and the Lower Saxony Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation, Dr. Bernd Altmusmann, were guests with welcoming addresses. L3S member Prof. Dr. Sascha Fahl, Senior Scientist at CISPA and Professor of Usable Security and Privacy at LUH, gave an overview of the research focus of the CISPA satellite in Hannover.
"The cooperation between CISPA and Leibniz Universität Hannover with its renowned research centre L3S is a great asset for Lower Saxony as a research location - and a testament to its strength in artificial intelligence, data science and IT security," emphasised Björn Thümler, Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture. "Cybersecurity and data protection are pressing challenges that we are facing due to the digital transformation. The advances expected from the combined strength of CISPA and L3S will have very practical benefits for our economy, administration and each and every one of us." Dr Bernd Althusmann, Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation, said: "With CISPA, we are creating the basis for lasting close cooperation in the field of information security here in Hanover. It is a great addition to our research landscape, but also to support our companies. In view of the ever-increasing networking and the growing number of end devices, there needs to be a stronger focus on the topic of cyber security, also within the digitalisation strategy of the state of Lower Saxony. This research network vouches for that."
Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, President of LUH, is also very pleased about the cooperation: "The topics of cyber security, data protection, privacy and industrial security are more relevant to society than ever before. Since the signing of the cooperation agreement last year, the CISPA satellite has already grown successfully. Cybersecurity in all its facets is a huge task that actors cannot tackle on their own - one more reason for the successful cooperation between LUH and CISPA." Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Backes, founding director and CEO of CISPA, emphasises: "We at CISPA are passionate about research. We burn for our ideas, we live for progress, we want the future - that is our mission. We want to make our innovations available to society and companies quickly, easily and sustainably. To do this, we need strong partners, and Lower Saxony is ideally suited for this. The state wants to shape, and besides, Lower Saxony is home to various world market leaders."
Research on "usable security and pricacy", i.e. user-centred security and privacy protection, is of great importance because more and more cyber attacks use people as a weak point. Therefore, information security must look more strongly than before at the users with their attack surfaces in combination with the often complex technical systems in practice, as project leader Prof. Dr. Sascha Fahl explained. These topics will be researched in Hanover in the future. The cooperation between CISPA and LUH is to be consistently developed and expanded in the coming years.