Germany strengthens its cybersecurity measures due to war in Ukraine

Archive – Germany’s Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser – Britta Pedersen/dpa

German authorities are beefing up their cybersecurity defense measures in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, unleashed on February 24 on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to plans presented Tuesday by the German Interior Ministry.

The new measures include the introduction of a centralized secure video conferencing system for the federal administration, as well as a platform for the exchange of information on cyberattacks based at the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

Part of the plan is to promote cyber resilience among small and medium-sized companies if they belong to so-called «critical infrastructures», i.e. in the transport, food, healthcare, energy and water supply sectors.

Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser explained that the IT infrastructure of the national intelligence agency will also be modernized. The document also states that sabotage and disinformation are capable of «massively and persistently impairing or even disrupting the functioning of the community and the economy».

In this regard, the report stresses that «strengthening the cyber resilience of federal authorities, other state and civil infrastructures, and especially critical infrastructures cannot be delayed», although Faeser has gone further and proposed amending the Constitution to make the BSI, under his ministry, the central body in charge of these issues.

Currently, responsibility for cybersecurity lies with the federal states and the BSI can only provide administrative assistance. The minister stressed that, in view of the growing threat, this is no longer appropriate, as reported by the German news agency DPA. Faeser has assured that the «Lander» are «overwhelmed» by the task and that their reaction to the proposed amendment of the Constitution was positive.

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