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Secure software for SMEs

Professor Anja Braun and her team receive the Reutlingen Chambers of Commerce Technology Prize.

Professor Dr Anja Braun receives the Reutlingen Chambers of Industry and Commerce's award for excellent technology transfer. Photo credits: Anne Faden.

By Sven Rottner

The Reutlingen Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) has awarded the distinction to Professor Anja Braun of ESB Business School for excellent technology transfer in the Neckar-Alb region. In a joint research project with bbg bitbase group GmbH, she and her team developed the software FIDEST, which enables professionals from various industries to create secure solutions for their online services without special IT knowledge. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular can benefit from the project.

The FIDEST software can be used by companies from a wide range of industries. This IT solution is helpful to online stores and administration, but also for controlling access in places such as in swimming pools, making the service more user-friendly and more closely aligned with requirements. FIDEST involves employees more closely, as they can implement the software in their online services without in-depth IT knowledge.

The focus of the collaborative research project is IT security. As "business analysts", the employees define the functionality and requirements of the new security technology. On this basis, FIDEST generates databases and a preliminary user interface. The finishing touches are made by professional programmers.

Professor Braun points to the time savings - "FIDEST enables employees themselves to set up secure IT solutions in just a few hours. Such security technologies otherwise take several weeks."

The way FIDEST works is based on machine learning. Through competing training examples, the system learns which solution is the most secure for which requirements. FIDEST makes use of proven security technologies such as blockchain, two-factor authentication and smart contracts. The software recommends to the user which code framework is best suited for his or her requirements.

Professor Braun received the award from the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce because the project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular to meet the necessary security requirements for data traffic in an uncomplicated way. Professor Braun and her research assistant Dimo Urumov work for Reutlingen University in the FIDEST project along with the bbg bitbase group headed by Nicolas Fahr. Both sides benefited from the close exchange of knowledge and relevant key technologies. For bbg, the research means a strengthening of its innovative power and expanded competencies, but also valuable competitive advantages and access to new markets.

The Reutlingen Chambers of Industry and Commerce has awarded the "Neckar-Alb Excellent Technology Transfer" prize annually since 2014. It honours researchers from the four universities in the Neckar-Alb region for their concrete efforts in technology transfer. The award winners are selected by a jury from business and research.