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In times of increasing cybercrime:

Data protection and IT security have at atriga highest priority

The advancing digitisation of operational processes enables companies to offer their customers fast, cost-effective and convenient services. At the same time, however, this also increases the risks of fraud and data misuse.

The German security authorities regularly warn against cyber-attacks that blackmail institutions and companies, paralyse workflows and steal data. In fact, every company can become the target of criminals, because construction plans are sources of income for hackers as well as sensitive personal data.

Bernd Riedel, Head of IT Operations at atriga, reports on what measures atriga uses to protect its customers’ data.

 

Dangers from the network have grown significantly

The rapidly growing cybercrime is increasingly burdening the community and the economy in Germany, according to the assessment of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) at the presentation of the Federal Situation Picture Cybercrime 2021. The police-registered Internet offences rose by twelve percent last year to a total of 146,363. For 2021, the industry association Bitkom calculated a damage sum of 223.5 billion euros from it – more than twice as much as two years earlier. Blackmailing alone with the help of data encryption programs, so-called ransomware, increased the damage to around 24 billion euros. The BKA assumes significantly higher figures, as many affected companies still do not report the cyber offences.

IT experts see reasons for increasing Internet crime in the increase in gateways for hackers. The corona pandemic played its part, as many people in the private environment and for working from home used the Internet more often. Russia’s attack on Ukraine recently provided a further boost. Even in the run-up to the crisis, cyberattacks increased significantly, especially by Russian hacker groups, including targets in Germany.

Bernd Riedel, Head of IT Operations at atriga: “atriga has always had high security standards. Through a variety of measures, we protect sensitive data against misuse regardless of location and reliably.”

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Great responsibility for customer data

In addition to state institutions and so-called critical infrastructures, such as utilities and telecommunications companies, providers of financial services are also targeted by cybercriminals. As a service provider in receivables management, we process sensitive personal data, says Bernd Riedel, Head of IT Operations atriga. For fraudsters, e-mail accounts, telephone numbers, bank account data and information about economic conditions are therefore an attractive loot. We take our commitment very seriously to protect our clients and their customers from these risks, Riedel adds. It was only in March of this year that a well-known financial service provider was the victim of a large-scale cyber-attack, which led, among other things, to system failures. Whether data has been stolen is not yet clear.

 

High safety standards at atriga

Bernd Riedel takes care of technical IT and data security in his function. He is also a member of the data protection task force and cooperates closely with atriga in-house lawyer and internal data protection officer Kristin Pagnia. atriga has always had high safety standards that go far beyond the legal requirements. Through a variety of measures, we protect sensitive data against misuse regardless of location and reliably,” he reports.

Bernd Riedel’s team regularly tests whether the IT infrastructure and security software correspond to the current threat situations and immediately eliminates potential vulnerabilities. Both the office and home office workstations run via secure VPN access. Personal firewalls and endpoint protection constantly check computers and mobile devices for risky processes, numerous measures are actively combated against unwanted data outflow. The Exchange server for centralised management of e-mail and other work data will soon be moved to a European cloud, where threats can be identified and blocked before they enter the corporate network.

 

Employees are intensively trained

The qualification of atriga employees plays an important role in cyber security. At regular intervals, they are trained and sensitised to the dangers from the network. This includes familiarising employees with the security rules for passwords, e-mails and the handling of operational data. According to Bernd Riedel, “there is no 100 percent security, but our clients and their debtors can rely on us to constantly work very intensively on the protection of personal data. In this way, we reduce the risk that we and they will become victims of criminal cyberattacks.”

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