IT Service Providers as Actors for Strengthening IT Security at SMEs in Germany

Project Description

Together with Neue Köhler Managementgesellschaft (NKMG), BIGS was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) in September 2019 to carry out a study on the topic of “IT Service Providers as Actors for Strengthening IT Security at SMEs in Germany". The HTW Berlin was commissioned as subcontractor to conduct qualitative and quantitative interviews with a selected number of IT service providers and SMEs.

As there were not yet sufficient analyses, surveys and studies on this topic (IT service providers for security at SMEs), the aim of this study was to ask for individual assessments of the development of the topic of IT security at and for SMEs, to close any existing gaps in communication between IT service providers and potential customers (SMEs) and thus to ensure more IT security in Germany as a business location. To this end, both providers of IT products, security products and services and SMEs were surveyed. Furthermore, the study looked at whether the topic of outsourcing plays a role for SMEs in Germany, which services are outsourced and on which factors outsourcing depends. In addition, the criteria according to which SMEs select their IT service providers and which challenges SMEs face when it comes to the topic of skills shortage were examined.

In a first step, BIGS prepared a market analysis which gives an overview of the relevant literature with reference to the supply and demand side of IT service providers with special regard to IT security. Based on this, an interview guideline for the qualitative survey of IT service providers as well as SMEs was created, which was followed by a quantitative survey of the supply and demand side of IT services. The project started at the end of 2019 and ran until October 2020.

The final report can be accessed here (in German).

Recordings of the closing event (in German)

Recording Part 1

  • Opening Statement by Frank Fischer (BMWi, Head of Mittelstand Digital, Head of the IT Security in Business Initiative).
  • “Cybersicherheit im deutschen Mittelstand und Rolle der IT-Dienstleister" by Christian Krüger (iTeam Systemhauskooperation).
  • “Wachsende Bedeutung der Cybersicherheit für KMU und Aktivitäten des BSI" by Manuel Bach (BSI, Head of the Department Cybersecurity for SMEs).

Recording Part 2

  • Presentation of the final report “IT Service Providers as Actors for Strengtherning IT Security at SMEs in Germany" and Q&A with Christian Köhler (NKMG) and Tim Stuchtey (BIGS).

Recording Part 3

  • Virtual discussion about the role of  IT Service Providers for IT Security amongs SMEs with Manuel Bach (BSI), Dr. Michael Littger (TISiM and DsiN), Dr. Frauke Goll (FZI) and Christian Köhler (NKMG), moderated by Dr. Tim Stuchtey (BIGS)

Contact Person

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Alexander Szanto.

Project Partners

Project Funding