NRW Security Day 2023: German economy at the turn of the times

August 10, 2023

At the NRW Security Day of the Alliance for Security in Business West (ASW West), experts from business, science and the public sector once again professed their commitment to economic protection. Among other things, the focus was on the new challenges in the context of artificial intelligence.

At the latest since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, security issues have moved into the public consciousness. Security is no longer a guarantee, and more and more far-reaching crises are occurring. As a result, the German economy is also facing a turning point. Companies, but equally politics and society, have to face major challenges and adapt to ever-changing security situations for successful economic protection. Geopolitical tensions, climate change and the threat of terrorism: never have companies or public authorities been more challenged by the global challenges and effects on security in the economy than in the current period.

This was the question addressed at the NRW Security Day 2023 of the Alliance for Security in Business West (ASW West). The established event, organized for the first time by the new ASW West Managing Director Britta Brisch, took place this year at the Post Tower in Bonn and once again brought together a number of outstanding security experts, first and foremost the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU). He has been a guest speaker at the NRW Security Days for years and delivered his report on the security situation in NRW at this year’s Security Day. He emphasized the importance of prevention and early reaction to security risks. It is better to have one’s foot in the door than to be standing in front of it, he said.

Dr. Robert B. Munson of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and U.S. Liaison Officer at the Joint Forces Base Command in Bonn addressed the question, “Crisis: What Does It Mean When the U.S. Military Comes to Support?” and compared the support requirements for a major redeployment of several divisions of U.S. forces with those required in the event of a “natural disaster,” while Dr. Robert Frischholz, CTO of BioID, Dirk Fischlein, Brandenburg Police University, and Frank Ewald, Deutsche Post DHL Group Corporate Security, discussed “Fake News, Deepfakes and ChatGPT – A Danger to Democracy, Science and Business?” A key statement by computer scientist Dr. Robert Frischholz: “Artificial intelligence is neither a panacea nor the devil’s work.”

Dr. Gerhard Conrad, Intelligence Advisor to the Munich Security Conference, spoke about “Global fields of tension and implications for the German economy.” In his view, any “bozo” with technology could cause disproportionate damage, and moreover, the Western world would have to deal with the consequences of our collective failure. Finally, Dr. Ansgar Rieks, retired Lieutenant General of the German Air Force, spoke on “Deployment of AI in Defense – A Multidimensional View,” thus closing the parenthesis to the event’s subtitle “New Intelligence – New Challenges.”

For Christian Vogt, Chairman of the Board of ASW West, it is important in this context that more and more attention continues to be paid to economic protection. “We want to change that with our activities as an economic protection association. Strategic considerations for the protection of the economy are desirable, but ends and means must also be determined in order to be able to enforce concrete measures. The once again fully booked Security Day with more than 150 guests and top speakers shows that we are on the right track.”

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