Digitalisation and Networked Security

Research Group 19

The research group examines security concepts and solutions and their impact on privacy and civil society. It investigates the resilience and practicability of technology and analyses the actors' patterns of action and thought. New approaches to knowledge about security and privacy are created and researched.

With the digitalization of almost all areas of technical and social life, the ever-increasing networking of people and technology – as well as of technology and engineering – is defining civil societies at the beginning of the 21st century. Attacks on these communication relationships and infrastructures can have serious consequences for individuals and networks. The encryption of private computers, industrial espionage via Trojans and blackouts caused by attacks on information and communication technologies (ICT) are striking examples of this threat situation.

How does digitalization influence objective and subjective security? The research group is investigating the tension between digitalization and security with a focus on questions of “creating security”. The broad interpretation of the German term “Sicherheit” is narrowed down to the context of attack security by reduction to the English term "security".

In order to investigate how security is or can be established, the group considers different combinations of security practices and issues. The given practice or issue is essentially a result of digitalization. Issues are to be understood as the contents or structures that are to be secured or defended.

For our work, this includes the protection of networked urban environments, digital working environments, and living spaces in general. Practices, on the other hand, are routines, processes, or technical strategies that are applied to a certain issue but are also conceivable for others.

Our group particularly focuses on two practices: technical security implementations and communication regarding security risks and security strategies. The group's computer scientists examine technical structures that facilitate or complicate digital attacks. On the one hand, the idea of switching from “host-centric net-works” to ”data-centric networks” is investigated on a fundamental structural level. On the other hand, concrete problem analyses of present systems and a critical prognosis of future scenarios and attack vectors are carried out.

The second part of the group focuses on different communication strategies and their influence on the implementation of security solutions. In the first steps, a multi-sensitive system for the sensitisation of different groups of people against (a lack of) security in cyberspace will be developed and tested.

Furthermore, the impact of digital security warnings on the population with regard to a (functional) fear of attack will be evaluated. Finally, technical, psychological, and sociological security strategies will be related to each other in order to provide insight and a look forward at the changes in and through the digitalisation of security culture.

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