Interview with Klaus Landefeld

December 22, 2015

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Interview with Klaus Landefeld

Here we are, back again with Security-BSides in Hamburg! Last December’s event was an overwhelming success, and encouraged by the participants we felt we needed to offer a second conference whilst 32c3 was in town. Minimum time-frame, scarce resources, but yet again some awesome people around us made it happen!

This is why we want to introduce some of them to you. We’re currently interviewing sponsors, speakers, participants, workshop-leaders, supporters, and community members who spread the word even if they can’t make it to Hamburg. So join us in meeting our great BSides family!

This is Klaus Landefeld, eco Director of Infrastructure and Networks and specialist on the topic Net Neutrality in the German Federal Parliament Committee on the Digital Agenda.

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1. What is your opinion on the general situation in terms of IT security?

With the growing importance that is being attached to the Internet and IT in general in our modern 21st century society, the “digitalization of society” is advancing inexorably and in ever larger steps. More and more areas of life are being embraced, an ever larger proportion of our days is being spent on and with the medium “the Internet”. But the well-known, popular “hacks” in recent times have also shown how necessary a fundamental increase in the security of IT systems is, and what role ICT systems play in our modern society. The decentralized nature of the Internet means that often improvements in security may be limited to certain areas, rather than wide-spread. Is it possible to legislate to create IT security? At least in the area of critical infrastructure, this is starting to happen: the German Federal Government passed the IT Security Act in 2015 – and the EU is not far behind with the NIS Directive. And there are so many aspects we have to look at: not only infrastructure, but also content, hardware, software, policies and laws, users, and interest groups of all kinds.

2. What is eco’s contribution to solving the problems?

eco is active in many areas to improve the safety, reliability and business potential of the Internet. Security is, of course, a major topic for the association. eco has several projects fighting malware and botnets, including the Advanced Cyber Defence Centre, the botfrei.de Support Center, and the Initiative-S for scanning and cleaning company websites. Added to this, our eco Complaints Office works with law enforcement agencies and the other complaints offices in the INHOPE network to fight against illegal and child-endangering online content, and the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) works to improve the standards in email marketing and reduce spam. We’re also active in supporting the Internet industry on the political level in Berlin and Brussels, advocating for internet-friendly framework conditions in Germany and Europe. And, of course, we work to raise user-awareness, advocate for wider use of encryption, and bring security experts together to find ways to make user-friendly Internet security ubiquitous.

3. In your opinion: which role could the international BSides organization play to make the world a better place?

I am quite intrigued by the BSides idea. First of all, it is great that experts themselves are active in the conference. Their research is very valuable to all of us. If they can share and debate their findings and inspire and motivate each other, then I see huge potential for new solutions and innovative approaches to security issues. I like that BSides is so decentralized. As it is unique and different in each location, no two BSides are alike. Community members travel quite a lot and meet and mingle all the time in new and different contexts; this constant dialogue and cross-pollination is inspiring and stimulating. I think this is great!

4. Why are you supporting BSidesHH? What are your hopes & wishes for this conference?

In the Hamburg BSides, alongside the 32nd CCC Kongress, the focus is not only on technology. Security is much more than technology! There is a great mix of talks that address historical, political, economic and even philosophical aspects of security. I think this interdisciplinary approach contributes a lot to a broader understanding of security and its relevance to many different groups. This is hugely important and worth supporting. Security – as we believe in eco – needs to be understood as integrative and cross-sector.

5. Which will be the most urgent topic in network policy in 2016?

The topics that need to be addressed and regulated by politics and industry are steadily accumulating. It’s hard to say which is the most pressing. The surveillance scandal is still impacting the industry – the EU needs to find a solution to the invalidated Safe Harbor agreement to enable the legal transfer of data between Europe and the US. Blanket Data Retention has just been reintroduced in Germany; privacy, data sovereignty and data protection remain huge issues for consumers and companies alike. Other issues are wide-spread broadband coverage, public Wi-Fi, Net Neutrality, copyright – there are so many topics that need continued action. We don’t foresee any reduction in our activities and relevance at eco!

How to book tickets

You can book tickets to the conference, via our Eventbrite page.