Leistungen // Laterales Management

cypercrime – the dark side of digitalisation!

A few weeks ago, a friend told me that she had had two BMW cars stolen within a year. The method used had been the same on both occasions: the thieves had read the data on the electronic key via an Internet connection and consequently gained access to the car. She now has a secure box at home where she keeps the key to ensure that the data can no longer be read. She was given the tip by a friendly BMW dealer, who is not unfamiliar with customers complaining about the theft of cars bearing the up-market Bavarian marque.

Highly creative criminals

Stealing cars is a very easy exercise for crooks. There are, allegedly, even adult education courses in Poland where the most effective methods are taught. Cybercrime, which operates from the so-called dark net is more complex, however, and does far more damage to the economy.

Martin Hoffmann, CIO of Volkswagen, reports that he and his colleagues must now repel 6,000 attacks from the net every week. A short time ago, it was only 6,000 attacks per year and it is the same for his colleagues in other DAX companies.

Secure IT systems are vital to successful entrepreneurial activity

This is why a group of CIOs (including those at Allianz, BASF, Bayer and VW) have joined forces in the "Deutsche Cyber-Sicherheitsorganisation” (DCSO). The losses caused by cybercrime in Germany are estimated at 45 billion euros. Therefore, secure IT systems are vital to successful entrepreneurial activity. If large corporations are cooperating in a sensitive area such as IT security, they must be driven by very considerable necessity. Among the millions of emails circulating in large corporations, there are now more being intercepted as spam than accepted as messages.

The situation will become particularly precarious in future when millions of self-driving cars are travelling round in ten years. This generation of cars and trucks will presumably have problems from cybercriminals unless things change fundamentally. If companies do not even manage to make a car key secure, these vehicles’ data will very rapidly find their way into the uncontrollable dark net. It is then conceivable, for instance, that car thieves will discover precisely the best spot from which to steal the car, as they will only need to crack the routes travelled for this purpose.

The DCSO is facing many challenges

Anybody who is "looking for" the car of his dreams will then only need to research the vehicle type and options and seize the opportunity – in exactly the same way as looking for the car of his dreams on mobile.de or Autoscout24.de. A realistic scenario, as many of the cars stolen today are already “ordered” by international clients.

The DCSO will be faced with many challenges. Incidentally, my friend now drives a different make of car. Another high-end marque but the new car does not have the security problems that affected its predecessors.