The City of Cities is the cradle of IT security

Andreas Lüning, CEO and co-founder of G DATA Software AG in Bochum, explains why the Metropolis Ruhr is Europe’s cybersecurity hub.

‘I invented commercial antivirus,’ says Andreas Lüning, founder and CEO of G DATA Software AG in Bochum. He came up with the first antivirus program in 1987. ‘At the time I had no idea that it would take off the way it did.’ Today, G DATA is among the world’s leading producers of antivirus software. Over 500 employees worldwide ensure the digital security of companies, vital infrastructure and millions of private customers. With its IT security technology, G DATA protects against both known and unknown cyberthreats. The security applications created by joint founders and directors Andreas Lüning and Kai Figge are now available in over 90 countries.

Cryptologists and criminologists

The company’s experts are constantly developing new solutions to proactively combat cybercrime. G DATA is the only producer in the world to offer fully automatic protection against banking trojans, thus safeguarding transactions made during online banking or shopping by private users and companies.

But the programmers do much more than just fighting off viruses. They are bona fide cryptologists whose work is reminiscent of that of criminologists. Not only can they detect complex trojans and viruses, but they can also decrypt and disable them using sophisticated technology, before they can do any damage to computers.

Bochum’s prestigious IT security institute

Our research and software development work takes place exclusively in Bochum, together with customer service and support. ‘The location is perfect for us,’ says Lüning. For one thing, it is near the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) of the Ruhr University Bochum. With around 200 scientists, it is one of the largest and most prestigious IT security institutes in Europe. Moreover, with 1,000 students, the HGI is also the largest IT security training centre in Europe. Bochum sees itself as an IT security hotspot, due in no small part to the proactive and effective day-to-day work undertaken by such companies and institutions in order to guarantee their users’ digital security.