Where is your IT manufacturer based? What used to be a trivial matter of image has now become a security issue. Three years after Edward Snowden’s revelations, CEOs understandably feel uncomfortable when their IT infrastructure consists of routers and switches from different vendors. Some companies are known to have been affected by the efforts of the American National Security Agency (NSA) either through code manipulation or backdoors in certain products. In relation to these developments, the quality label of IT security made in Germany carries even more weight. The chance of buying a product which has been compromised by government agencies is significantly lower with devices which have been developed and manufactured in Germany rather than abroad. In IT security, the country of origin has become a critical factor.
Foreign companies are already noticing this trend. In the first half of 2016, the export of communications equipment from Germany grew significantly. The digital association Bitkom reported that exports of communications equipment, telephone systems and network technology have risen by 2.8 percent to EUR 6.6 billion. “Germany has taken a strong international role in the field of communication technology,” says Bitkom President Thorsten Dirks. The main buyers of ICT products from Germany in the first half of the year were France (EUR 1.30 billion), the Netherlands (EUR 1.29 billion) and Poland (EUR 1.27 billion). There are still many opportunities in this market. “Only 55 percent of ICT SMEs in Germany are active abroad,” says Dirks. “SMEs are often limited to local business; even national markets can be too much of a challenge for them”.
IT security is no longer a peripheral task in the IT department. In many industries, IT security has become the central concern of digital infrastructure. Beyond legal and industry requirements, companies have become almost completely dependent on their information systems and this has spiked high demand for IT security. While little attention has been paid in the past to the manufacturer as a potential security risk, many managers are now concerned about unwittingly allowing NSA code into their data centers. Nobody really believes that the USA is the only country who are willing to get their hands dirty. China and Russia also have active intelligence services and a strong interest in the innovative technology of German companies. Incidentally, the mission of the Canadian intelligence service is quite revealing “Protect our secrets, uncover theirs”.
Policies and procedures are also a key part of IT security along with products and devices. Sensitive data must be identified and classified, risks assessed and security measures prioritized. However, all of this cannot be achieved without devices and technology. Sadly, it is no longer to dismiss the belief that IT security products may no longer be secure as paranoia. The representative study by Pierre Audoin Consultants “IT Made in Germany – What do German companies want?” shows that two thirds of IT decision makers in German companies want to use strengthened IT solutions “Made in Germany” as a result of the ongoing security scandals surrounding the NSA wiretapping affair. German technology companies such as NCP engineering GmbH were a good choice for IT security long before Edward Snowden and the present increased awareness of IT security. The Nuremberg-based company is one of the world’s leading remote access vendors. For NCP, the German location attracts highly skilled employees. They secure NCP’s leading position through developing innovative technology which is reliable and secure. Small and large companies are in safe hands at NCP and it goes without saying that NCP solutions are free from backdoors − true to the concept of IT security made in Germany.