At the opening ceremony, UK Prime Minister David Cameron followed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to announce the UK as partner country for this year's conference, firming up the two countries' commitment to collaborate more closely. No mention was made of GCHQ's role in bugging Merkel's mobile.
Innovative UK companies were at the forefront during CeBIT, with several young British entrepreneurs presenting their solutions at the Partner Country pavilion. Olaf Lies, the Lower Saxony State Minister of Economic Affairs, introduced more than 120 investors to start-ups at the space:d showcase.
Among the keynotes at the event were Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak; Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales; and security expert, Eugene Kaspersky.
Given German concerns about alleged US backdoors into cloud infrastructure, it was no surprise that the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) sought to provide information about alternative cloud solutions, the alliance for cyber security and secure mobile communication. Its president, Hans-Georg Maassen, told attendees that effective security is only possible when everyone involved contributes. He called for compulsory registration of all cyber attacks as voluntary presentation of the data hadn´t worked in the past.
Additionally, the German-British IT Summit included high-level representatives from business and politics to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the technology centres in both countries and information exchanges resulting from German-British cooperation. Speakers included Prof. Dieter Kempf, president of BITKOM; Lord Livingstone, the UK Minister for Trade and Investment; Hagen Rickmann, MD Sales of T-Systems International; and Joanna Shields, the UK's Business Ambassador for Digital Industries.
“Big Data” was a common thread running through CeBIT 2014. The vast range of apps on display highlighted the enormous opportunities available in all sectors of the economy. Big Data is about to make a breakthrough in Germany, as elsewhere, according to a survey conducted by the BITKOM high-tech association.
Among the data-based exhibits was a SAP app used to compile training data from members of the German national soccer team, to help the team in its preparations for the World Cup in Brazil. The players' socks are fitted with special data-recording sensors. Team manager, Oliver Bierhoff, attended the Hannover event to present the smartphone app used to display the players' strengths and weaknesses.
More than 500 businesses used the event to profile their new security solutions. Exhibitors included a host of leading names, such as ESET, Kaspersky Labs, Secusmart and Trend Micro. The security solutions on display ranged from sophisticated end-to-end encryption and high-security smartphones, such as Secusmart's “Chancellor Phone”, to new anti-virus programs for handhelds.
A trend well-represented at CeBIT were mobile phone apps for encrypting voice and text messages. The preferred method was exchanging temporary encryption codes between two devices which have the security app installed on them. An increasing focus on the protection of sensitive data is boosting the market share of biometric identification processes – from hand vein scanners to what is claimed to be the world's smallest optical fingerprint scanner (just 29x43mm).
Further, in response to the increasing problem of data theft from machines and production networks, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Communications Technology (SIT) presented Industry 4.0 security tools which encrypt manufacturing data when it is generated, providing a secure transport channel for computers and machines.