The Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Center Cottbus project, which has been funded since 2017, will receive funding for a further 2 years. With a total funding volume of 3.9 million euros, it can continue to support Brandenburg companies in their digitization. With this funding, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is sending a strong signal for the economy of Brandenburg and beyond.
The advancing digitization presents small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with ever greater challenges. There is an increased need for information and advice on the topics of work and knowledge 4.0, automation, business models, information security and data protection. The positive response to the free seminars, training courses and workshops for SMEs confirms the necessity and suitability of the offer of the competence center.
As part of the project, the Leibniz institute - Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP) from Frankfurt (Oder) supports companies in the conception and implementation of measures to promote information security, data protection and employee compliance. "Many companies see a major security risk for SMEs in general, but estimate the probability of being affected by security incidents to be far lower," states Erik Hermann, researcher and project member at the IHP. That is why the IHP offers its support in establishing an effective information security management. This includes the analysis of the status quo and the information, data, applications and systems to be protected, the determination of the respective protection requirements and the derivation of the necessary security measures.
Since information security and data protection often have a complementary effect, the IHP also provides support with questions relating to the implementation of the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). "The GDPR is no longer the black box for companies that it was before and when it came into force. However, the legally compliant implementation of the requirements is still difficult for many SMEs, ”says Erik Hermann. In order to meet the special requirements for data protection and information security of young companies (start-ups), the IHP also offers seminars specially tailored to start-ups.
Another new offer from the IHP consists of seminars on the influencing factors that promote or hinder compliance with company specifications for information security on the part of employees. “No matter how extensive and well thought-out security requirements and measures they are. Without the willingness of the employees to adhere to and support them, they are doomed to failure, ”says Erik Hermann.