Advancing digitization places new demands on companies. It is no longer enough to use the Internet for operations, companies must also arm themselves against digital attacks: not all business leaders in the north-east are aware of this.

Schwerin (dpa/mv) – Despite cyber attacks on administration and companies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania that attracted media attention, the importance of IT security has not yet been recognized in all companies, according to some chambers of industry and commerce. “In our opinion, the topic of IT security is treated somewhat “neglected” by many small companies,” said the IHK Neubrandenburg. In Rostock, too, there is still a lack of knowledge and awareness in some companies. All Chambers of Industry and Commerce – including those in Schwerin – see a need for employee training, particularly to prevent data theft through so-called phishing emails.

A survey presented in December by the survey institute Ipsos on behalf of Commerzbank also sees a weak point here. Out of 100 companies that participated in the Northeast, a third said they had already experienced an attack. Damage is known for 3 percent: In most cases, data was stolen, but one fifth was also extorted for ransom.

According to Andreas Noack, Professor of IT Security at Stralsund University, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly at risk. The IT expert sees the biggest problems in the human factor: “First and foremost, there are uncertainties in dealing with IT systems, in particular the lack of knowledge of cyber attack patterns, which play into the hands of the hackers”. Cyber ​​attacks on a purely technical basis, on the other hand, are rare, and people are usually directly involved.

Something has happened on the state side since the cyber attack on the IT of the state capital at the end of 2021: “For several years now, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has been reacting proactively” to the increasing relevance of the topic in the course of digitization, says Noack. Above all, he paid tribute to the planned central IT authority – the ZDMV – Center for Digitization Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

However, the Ministry of the Interior is far from giving the all-clear: “The attacks on IT security have not only become more diverse in recent years, but also more complex,” said Christian Gauge (SPD). The risk remains at a high level. In the event of an attack, companies are advised to contact the central contact point for cybercrime at the State Criminal Police Office: “The proven experts offer their help and are closely networked with the local police departments.”