53rd Digital Dialogue: Cyber security & unknown threats

From left to right: Helmut Leopold (Austrian Institute of Technology), Thomas Schmidler (DCCS IT Services GmbH),
Gerhard Greiner (IT Community Styria), Wolfgang Schinagl (WKO), Christian Derler (Joanneum Research),
Daniel Gruss (IAIK TU Graz), Anton Alt (Alt & Walch KG)

53rd Digital Dialogue: Cyber security & unknown threats | How can we detect them in the future AND what next if we do?

Digital Dialogue: Cyber security is a hot topic for everyone!

For the 53rd Digital Dialogue, the organisers really touched a nerve with the theme: the topic of cyber security and unknown threats meant that seats sold out in a very short time, even after a last-minute move to a larger location. So it’s no wonder that despite freezing cold and snow flurries, over 200 people were welcomed by presenter Gerhard Greiner at St. Veiter Schlössl. The series of events, which falls under the patronage of the Silicon Alps Cluster, was organised this time by the IT Community Styria (ITCS). The brief welcoming address by Angelika Weber (Axtesys, one of 13 ITCS companies) was dedicated above all to expressing delight that ITCS is now part of the Digital Dialogue team and to wishing those present a pleasant and fascinating evening.

Meltdown, Spectre & Co

Daniel Gruss from the Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications (IAIK) at Graz University of Technology fully immersed the audience into the core topic in a very vivid way with his science slam-inspired opening lecture: he gave insights into remarkable details about the security holes at processor level that have become tragically famous due to Meltdown and Spectre. In particular, he drew attention to the fact that the IT industry had focused for far too long on performance optimisation and that security had become a side issue.

Helmut Leopold from the Austrian Institute of Technology spoke about new forms of interaction and cooperation in our digital infrastructure. In his presentation, he confirmed Daniel Gruss’ thesis that too little attention has been paid to the topic of security so far, not just on the manufacturer side, however, but especially on the buyer side. As a sad example, he cited the product innovation of an internet connection with integrated virus scanner that couldn’t arouse any interest on the market.

Anton Alt of Alt & Walch KG presented an insurance solution specially designed for protection against cyber risks.

In the subsequent panel discussion, Christian Derler from Joanneum Research, Thomas Schmidler from DCCS and Wolfgang Schinagl (WKO) provided interesting input. The WKO’s cyber-attack hotline, IT security products by DCCS and, above all, research into preventive measures by Joanneum Research all provide support to affected companies.

Networks and networking against the digital “ultimate MCA”

There was agreement that a rethinking is inevitable, especially since nothing and nobody is immune to cyber-attacks. Among the controversial discussions there was talk of how much protection from technical eventualities also makes economic sense, and how much basic trust is still appropriate in a world full of cyber threats.

In the romantic ambience of a wonderful butlered hors d’oeuvres service, the transition from technical networks to social networking was smooth and seamless. Many a heated discussion caused the unusually icy temperatures to be entirely forgotten – quite in contrast to the topic of security: clever new methods are being demanded so that we can equip ourselves against the digital ultimate MCA and the next meltdown.


Gerhard Greiner


Daniel Gruss (IAIK of Graz University of Technology)
Helmut Leopold (Austrian Institute of Technology)

Anton Alt (Alt & Walch KG)