Berlin’s biggest cyber-headquarters short of 700 employees – BZ Berlin

Old software in the administration, computer failures in the courts, incorrect election documents… The Berlin IT service center ITDZ has made a name for itself mainly through bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns.

Now everything should get better, or so Franziska Giffey (43, SPD) hopes. On Wednesday, the governing mayor visited the ITDZ on Berliner Strasse and inaugurated the “Security Operations Center”.

Experts are sitting in a dark room on the 3rd floor to ward off attacks on the Berlin administration’s computer network. “The beginning of better-positioned IT security,” Giffey told BZ. The successes are not visible to the general public. “If nothing happens, good work has been done here!”

Big problem of the ITDZ: It has 1000 employees, but needs 700 more! But they are hard to find.

“IT people are gold dust in Berlin,” says Giffey. “We have the biggest start-up scene in Europe here with 4,000 companies.”

Franziska Giffey on Wednesday at the opening of the Security Operations Center with Ralf Kleindiek (l), State Secretary for Digital and Administrative Modernization, and Marc Böttcher, Member of the Board of Directors of ITDZ Berlin (Photo: Annette Riedl /dpa)
Franziska Giffey on Wednesday at the opening of the Security Operations Center with Ralf Kleindiek (l), State Secretary for Digital and Administrative Modernization, and Marc Böttcher, Member of the Board of Directors of ITDZ Berlin (Photo: Annette Riedl /dpa)

This is why the Senate wants to attract new computer experts with higher salaries. Details are being worked out with the financial administration.

For Giffey, the new security center is “a kind of fire control center for cyber defense. Last year alone, there were 15 million attempted attacks on the country’s computer network!

The ITDZ contains the private data of 3.7 million Berliners. “We bear the responsibility for that, and we especially have to make sure of that,” says Giffey. The citizens’ hotline 115 and appointments for citizens’ registration offices are also managed here.


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120,000 computer stations in the administrations are connected to the network. The head of the town hall is also affected by the attacks: “I am always annoyed by the spam that I receive.”

The numerous breakdowns of the ITDZ annoy Giffey. “I want to send a clear signal that we’re bringing a breath of fresh air into this!” They are on the right track, “but more needs to be done”.

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