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Trust requires security

The digitization of society is continuing at a rapid pace – and there are no limits to this trend. However, people will only embrace and support digitization if they can be sure that their data is secure and protected – this is a matter of trust. Thus international solutions and cross-industry initiatives, like the Charter of Trust, are needed.

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Dr. Thomas Kremer, Member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance

“We must earn the trust of the general public when it comes to digitization. To do this, we must have mandatory security standards that apply throughout Europe and that address the entire value chain in order to make the security level of hardware and software transparent to consumers and companies.“

Risks such as security gaps are best prevented or eliminated at their roots. Attention must be focused on the entire value chain, from hardware and software manufacturers to network operators and service providers. Everyone is required to fulfill their responsibilities in order to build trust. For example, vendors not only must report security gaps, but also take immediate steps to close them, while also anticipating any weaknesses that might affect the security of the entire product life cycle. This is known as “Security by Design.“

The number of connected devices in the Internet of Things is skyrocketing. We are already looking at more than 8 billion; by 2020, the figure is expected to have passed the 50 billion mark. These devices can pose risks to IT structures and critical infrastructures. That is why we need binding security standards for these devices as well. In addition, the security and trustworthiness of IT products should be verified by an independent authority, including labeling that indicates the security standards fulfilled by the inspected products. All vendors and providers who want to market their products and services in Europe should be required to comply with EU laws and directives of relevance to cybersecurity. This is the only way to build public trust in digitization.