Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG are deepening their cooperation in the IT security sector. The German Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, and Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, met today for this purpose at Infineon’s headquarters in Neubiberg near Munich. The continued technology dialog is focused on close exchange to provide security for critical infrastructures such as the smart grid, and to establish security concepts for mobile devices such as smart phones or mobile computers. During his visit the Minister of the Interior also informed himself in Infineon’s security laboratories about current high-tech attack scenarios on semiconductors for chip card and security applications, and about the latest action the chip industry takes to ward off attempts at manipulation. The BMI and Infineon have been working together on IT system security and electronic ID documents for over eight years.
Data protection according to internationally recognized standards for the smart grid and its components
The smart grid provides communications networking and control capabilities in the generation, transmission and consumption of energy. The entire infrastructure has to meet specific security requirements. The smart grid and the data flows exchanged between its components, such as gateways and smart meters, have to be protected against attack and manipulation. As part of the implementation of its Cyber Security Strategy, the German Government is looking into whether protective measures for the IT-critical infrastructures have to be prescribed and where they are needed. As the world’s leading chip supplier for security applications, Infineon supports the BMI and the subordinate German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) with a view to appropriate security technologies.
Networked systems call for new security concepts
Data storage, processing and exchange between countless networked mobile devices have become a vital part of the fabric of business and social life today, and will make further inroads. Current examples are the new NFC (Near Field Communication) payment services using smartphones, or cloud computing where the computer application is run via the Internet infrastructure. In a networked digital world – cyberspace – data security, integrity and availability are essential for sustained consumer confidence and successful business models. The BMI and Infineon are therefore intensifying their exchange in respect of the security requirements of information and communications technology and mobile devices, and their technical implementation.
During his visit, the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, highlighted the growing significance of trustworthy manufacturers of IT security products and components, and reaffirmed the security partnership entered into with the company in 2003: “The importance of ensuring IT security is gaining momentum, given the growing number of attacks on IT infrastructures and the increase in complex applications. Therefore the continued work together with Infineon has to focus on protecting the IT systems of critical infrastructures and mobile devices, but also on protecting new technologies such as smart grids.”
“Infineon is the only German chip manufacturer to have over 25 years of experience in the chip card and security industry, and – as a longstanding market leader – the company has put a definitive stamp on the industry,” said Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. “Drawing on our expertise, we can enhance the security of mobile devices and critical infrastructures. The intensified security cooperation with the BMI is a decisive step in this direction.”
The security cooperation between BMI and Infineon has been in place for eight years
The BMI and Infineon began working together in the summer of 2003 with the aim of establishing a sound technology basis for enhanced security in IT systems used in public authorities, businesses and households. The areas addressed so far have been the security of electronic ID documents such as the electronic passport introduced in Germany in November 2005 or the electronic ID card issued in Germany since November 2010. They have further included providing PC networks with more effective protection against unauthorized data access and PCs and notebooks with better protection against viruses and unauthorized manipulation. The BSI has always been closely involved.
Infineon is the longstanding global market leader in chips for card applications and the leading supplier of chips for electronic ID documents
Infineon has been the global market leader in chip card ICs for over 14 years. According to data of the market research company IMS Research, in 2010 Infineon had a 27-percent share of the global chip card IC market that totals about 2.1 billion U.S. dollars.
For years now, a large number of governments and authorities have placed their trust in Infineon for electronic ID documents and access passes for buildings and data networks. The company has been the world’s leading chip supplier for government ID applications for many years. Infineon’s security chips are to be found in electronic passports not only in Germany but in countries including the USA, China, Brazil, Indonesia, France, Norway and Poland, for example, and in the electronic ID cards i. e. of Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Italy, Austria, Portugal and Ireland. On average, every second chip used in government ID applications worldwide comes from Infineon