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This episode features an interview with Andreas Rohr, founding manager and CTO at the German Cyber-Security Organization (DCSO). At DCSO, Andreas is responsible for Innovation and Security Engineering and its Managed Cyber Defense Services. He has over 15 years of experience in IT and cybersecurity, holding management positions in the energy and automotive industries.

In this episode, Mike and Andreas discuss aligning with works councils, forging business relationships through transparency, and embedding security into value streams.

Transparency is key for working with the works council, who are actually not there to prevent security or the company doing the right things, they’re there to make sure that the data is not abused against the employees. This is their mission, their task, and it’s a valid one.

—Andreas Rohr, CTO at the German Cyber-Security Organization (DCSO)

 

Timestamps

*(02:06): Andreas explains what DCSO is*(23:34): Andreas’s advice on determining the budget for security
*(09:18): Guideposts DCSO is helping companies align to*(27:30): How Andreas advises companies on making security part of the fabric of their organization
*(15:45): How Andreas is helping companies navigate the German Works Council*(34:29): 2030 Goggles
*(19:27): Andreas’s journey from CISO to CTO*(43:01): Quick Hits

 

Other ways to listen:

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On this episode

Andreas Rohr
CTO at DCSO

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Andreas Rohr

Dr. Andreas Rohr is a founding manager and CTO at the German Cyber-Security Organization (DCSO), a joint venture established between Allianz, Bayer, BASF and Volkswagen. Within DCSO’s management board, Rohr is responsible for Innovation and Security Engineering, as well as its Managed Cyber Defense Services.

Rohr has over 15 years of experience in various areas of IT and cybersecurity. He previously served in management positions across the energy and automotive industries. He has been highly involved in the cybersecurity technologies startup scene for over a decade, often serving as advisor providing a unique European perspective to budding enterprises. He previously served as an officer in the German Air Force and held the deputy CISO role in the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

Mike Anderson
Chief Digital & Information Officer at Netskope

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Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson serves as Chief Digital and Information Officer for Netskope. Over the past 25 years, he has built and led high-performing teams across various disciplines, including sales, operations, business development, and information technology. He joined Netskope from Schneider Electric, a global fortune 500 company, serving as SVP, CIO and Digital Leader for North America. In 2020, Constellation Research named him a member of the Business Transformation 150, an elite list that recognizes the top global executives leading business transformation efforts in their organizations. The National Diversity Council also recognized him as a Top 50 CIO for diversity and inclusion in 2020 and 2021. Before Schneider Electric, Mike served as CIO for CROSSMARK, where he digitally transformed the business capabilities for the 40,000 employee service provider to the retail and consumer goods industry. Also, he has held executive leadership roles at Enterprise Mobile, a Microsoft joint venture that is now part of Honeywell, Insight, Software Spectrum, and InVerge, a web services pioneer he co-founded in 1999. Mike serves on numerous technology and industry advisory boards and volunteers his time working with nonprofits focused on mental health and suicide prevention and those that benefit the development of our future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Andreas Rohr

Dr. Andreas Rohr is a founding manager and CTO at the German Cyber-Security Organization (DCSO), a joint venture established between Allianz, Bayer, BASF and Volkswagen. Within DCSO’s management board, Rohr is responsible for Innovation and Security Engineering, as well as its Managed Cyber Defense Services.

Rohr has over 15 years of experience in various areas of IT and cybersecurity. He previously served in management positions across the energy and automotive industries. He has been highly involved in the cybersecurity technologies startup scene for over a decade, often serving as advisor providing a unique European perspective to budding enterprises. He previously served as an officer in the German Air Force and held the deputy CISO role in the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson serves as Chief Digital and Information Officer for Netskope. Over the past 25 years, he has built and led high-performing teams across various disciplines, including sales, operations, business development, and information technology. He joined Netskope from Schneider Electric, a global fortune 500 company, serving as SVP, CIO and Digital Leader for North America. In 2020, Constellation Research named him a member of the Business Transformation 150, an elite list that recognizes the top global executives leading business transformation efforts in their organizations. The National Diversity Council also recognized him as a Top 50 CIO for diversity and inclusion in 2020 and 2021. Before Schneider Electric, Mike served as CIO for CROSSMARK, where he digitally transformed the business capabilities for the 40,000 employee service provider to the retail and consumer goods industry. Also, he has held executive leadership roles at Enterprise Mobile, a Microsoft joint venture that is now part of Honeywell, Insight, Software Spectrum, and InVerge, a web services pioneer he co-founded in 1999. Mike serves on numerous technology and industry advisory boards and volunteers his time working with nonprofits focused on mental health and suicide prevention and those that benefit the development of our future workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Episode transcript

Open for transcript

Andreas Rohr: The most convincing story for works council who were actually not there to prevent security or the company doing the right things, they're there to make sure that the data is not abused against the employee's rights. It's their mission, their task, and it's a valid one. When I was in a CISO position in such companies where there were actually a strong works council, the best relationship is if you're really being transparent to what you do, why you're doing that?

Speaker 2: Hello, and welcome to Security Visionaries. You just heard from today's guest, Andreas Rohr, CTO at DCSO. Aligning organizations on security requires many skills, most importantly, transparency. From establishing top-down communication to collaborating with work councils, transparency answers many questions along the way. Like, who has access to the sensitive information? What is an organization's appetite for risk? And how is the data of employees protected? Before we dive into Andreas's interview, here's a brief word from our sponsor. This Security Visionaries podcast is powered by the team at Netskope. At Netskope, we are redefining cloud, data and network security with a platform that provides optimized access and zero trust security for people, devices, and data anywhere they go. To learn more about how Netskope helps customers be ready for anything on their sassy journey, visit N-E-T-S-K-O-P-E.com. Without further ado, please enjoy episode 20 of Security Visionaries with Andreas Rohr, CTO at DCSO and your host, Mike Anderson.

Mike Anderson: Welcome to today's episode of Security Visionaries. I'm your host, Mike Anderson. I'm the Chief Digital and Information Officer here at Netskcope. Today, we are joined by Andreas Rohr who's joining us from Germany. How are you doing today, Andreas?

Andreas Rohr: Oh, very good. Thanks for pronouncing the name very nicely.

Mike Anderson: I'm super excited about this conversation today because when we think about cyber security, you've done some very interesting things around bringing people together in the DACH region and thinking about companies of all sizes as you think about the cyber topic. And so can you tell us more about DCSO, how it started, the mission you've got, what you're trying to accomplish and how you're working with companies?

Andreas Rohr: So DCSO stands for German Cyber Security Organization. So the D is for Deutsche, for those that are maybe familiar with the language. And what basically four companies in the DACH region; Allianz, BASF, Volkswagen and Bayer, you might have heard of, some of the largest companies in Europe, they saw that they should basically combine forces and get exchanging ideas with other peers of themselves to not reinvent always the security topics by themselves and bringing together their experts. Because they have one thing in common, which is 90%, 80% of what they're challenging and security is more or less the same despite that they're competing on the market. And second, the talents are not enough on the market. So bringing them together under one roof and tasking them with things they're all interested in, would make things even better. And resource enabled testing of new ideas. So this is one of the things. The second one is they all have their supply chain they're dependent on. And this was seven years ago, so supply chain attack as a term was not born back then, but they already realized that the weakest link basically is not their secure and their security team and the maturity of them, but their supply chain ones, which are most dependent on.

Andreas Rohr: And digesting or making things in a way digestible from their security insights and learnings, is what DCSO as a community-driven exchange to operationalize such insights and technology as what we also have been founded for, to find ways to make it easier to use and also to apply for those companies that do not have a huge security team or even any knowledge. So operationalizing with security services was the second task, basically during the foundation of the company.

Mike Anderson: No, that's great. And I definitely know that we've got so many open cyber roles out there today. Anything you can do to help companies combat the bad actors that are out there that wanna cause harm to companies. As you said, these are competitors in some cases coming together at the table to figure out how they can basically protect ourselves from the adversaries that live out there in the wild. So it's definitely a strong mission. Have you had other companies that have joined in as part of that? And you've talked about the four that joined originally, but have you had more that have joined in that mission as well?

Andreas Rohr: So that's a good question. So that's not only the four. We very early started this with around 16 of tax companies we're now about 20, 21 or so of like and a few family owned and likewise and size companies. And they basically steer DCSO's kind of development of the portfolio and what we should talk about and what you should research in terms of topics and directions and help us, in an advisory also so to speak, where to develop into. And the second one is what we also like to and actually achieve to implement is a very regular format where they learn not only with new topics, but also the existing things where they failed or how they solved certain challenges and what did not work out. So that's even more important to shortcut learning curves. And this is not only for the less mature companies, it's also amongst the mature ones. And this proves that bringing folks together, despite their competing on a market, actually useful, effective, and should not only be limited to the companies itself, but also to the relationship for authorities and maybe even also for these research institutes. So really bridging the different fields of expertise and insights, especially to also intelligence services. Makes sense in both ways to have a flow, to not make that visible to the takers or adversaries, as you said.

Mike Anderson: I definitely feel that need for that private-public partnership around exchange of intelligence and what's going on from a threat standpoint. Again, it kinda brings this whole concept that security is a team sport. It's not just the four walls of my organization, but it's the whole ecosystem working together. When you look at that, I'm just curious, when you think about the authorities that are out there, have you been able to influence policy or changes that would help companies have better guideposts or things to align to?

Andreas Rohr: Yep, definitely. That was one of the things which I basically learned from the States. So I've seen the NCFTA, where the FBI and other law enforcement and industry was working together. I think as the early years, in the zero days of 2000s and also other formats for which something that's state-driven. But in general, I like the idea a lot that there's a fluent relationship where the necessary things to help each other is actually exchanged. And this drove also my way of influencing how we do that, and in fact, we have a very good relationship to the Ministry of Interior who actually is responsible for being the advisory function and the supervision of the federal police of the BSI, the federal office for information security, and also the one who's protecting the constitution. Not sure what that translates to English. So having those authori