Welcome to KASTEL

The Competence Center for Applied Security Technology (KASTEL) is one of three competence centers for cyber security in Germany, which were initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in March 2011.

Following the motto “Comprehensible security in the networked world”, KASTEL is meeting the challenges posed by the increasing interconnection of previously isolated systems.

Of particular importance are the consequences of digitalization in the area of critical infrastructures, for example in the energy economy, in industrial production or networked mobility, but also in "intelligent" environments.

KASTEL bundles the competencies in the field of IT security at the research location Karlsruhe. The goal is to develop a widespread approach instead of isolated partial solutions. The focus will be on comprehensive security in specific application areas, such as power grids or intelligent factories.

To ensure this security, new threats need to be modeled, security objectives need to be described and new methods have to be developed.

This can only be achieved through the cooperation of cryptographers, IT-security specialists, software-engineers, network experts, jurists, economics and social scientists – like here at KASTEL.


KASTEL started in 2011 with a provisional term of four years. The goal was to conduct interdisciplinary research and answer questions about IT security that were to be put to practical use on the basis of prototypes and scenarios. This section, known as Phase 1, was completed in autumn of 2015. After a successful evaluation, the BMBF extended the duration of the competence centers and KASTEL started the second phase with newly defined research fields and projects.

Whitepaper "Certification of AI systems" as a compass for the development and application of trustworthy AI systems

The inter-institutional whitepaper "Certification of AI Systems" by Jessica Heesen, Jörn Müller-Quade and Stefan Wrobel was developed under the auspices of the working groups IT Security, Privacy, Law and Ethics as well as the working group Technology Pioneers and Data Science of the Platform Learning Systems.

The regulation of AI systems in general and certification of AI systems in particular can make a decisive contribution to bringing AI systems into use and exploiting their full potential of benefit. Certification procedures should guarantee certain standards of AI systems, while avoiding over-regulation and allowing innovation.

to the whitepaper

The Special Session on Humans And Cyber Security Security 2020 (HACS 2020) will be held virtually on December 2nd 2020 as part of the 6th IEEE International Conference on Collaboration and Internet Computing. The special session provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners interested in humans and cyber security to share latest research and developments. SECUSO team member Peter Mayer participates in HACS 2020 as panelist in the Round Table Discussion on the topic "State-of-the-art research from academic front on 'hacking the human'".

HACS 2020 website with further information
Peter Mayer awarded with the Wissenschaftspreis 2019 for his PhD "Secure and Usable User Authentication"

Our team member Peter Mayer was awarded the Research Award 2019 of the KIT-Department of Economics and Management for his dissertation "Secure and Usable User Authentication". The dissertation describes advancements in the area of user authentication. In detail it provides (a) a process for the systematic development of provably effective awareness materials to help users to better defend themselves, (b) the first comparative investigation of shoulder-surfing risks when entering text passwords on constrained input devices such as gamepads, and (c) a technique for the secure and efficient storage of passwords in promising shoulder-surfing resistant alternatives to text passwords.

Information on the Wissenschaftspreis
Risk contactless debit card

Contactless debit cards are widespread and became more important in times of Corona. But what happens if someone is stealing your contactless debit card and misuses the contactless option to pay without having to enter the PIN?
In our report "Reporting Insights Gaines into UK Citizens' Perceptions of Contactless Card Risks" we study the perception of the above-mentioned risks and how users perceive it. We discovered that participants perception were not aligned with their actual risks.

The paper is available here
New project "Digital Citizen Science @ KD²Ex"

As part of the EXU project “KIT Future Fields”, Prof. Weinhardt (IISM), Prof. Mädche (IISM), Prof. Nieken (IBU), Prof. Scheibehenne (IISM), Prof. Szech (ECON), Prof. Volkamer (AIFB) and Prof. Woll (IfSS) get funded for 18 months for the project "Digital Citizen Science @ KD²Ex": Experimental research on well-being, work and education at home ".

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Thorsten Strufe as expert at IEEE IPC 2020

As invited expert for the topic "Privacy vs. Contact Tracing" Thorsten Strufe participated in the panel discussion of the IEEE IPCCC 2020. 

The International Performance, Computing, and Communications Conference is a premier IEEE conference presenting research in the performance of computer and communication systems. For nearly four decades, IPCCC has been a research forum for academic, industrial, and government researchers. 

to the conference