IHP Develops Free eLearning Platform for SMEs

Frankfurt Oder (GER), March 2021 - One third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unable to meet the demand for digital know-how and skills and see the lack of knowledge among employees as a hurdle to digitalization. In particular, the challenge of developing IT security causes great difficulties for SMEs. New forms of industrial espionage, cyber attacks, and blackmail Trojans are forcing companies to protect their IT systems and processes against attacks from the Internet.

To support SMEs in this task, the Competence Center IT Security (KITS) was founded by the Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP) in Frankfurt Oder, Germany. The competence center has been supported by the State of Brandenburg and the European Regional Development Fund for a period of three years since January 2020 with a grant of 2.1 million euros.

KITS informs companies about IT security problems, demonstrates available IT security solutions, and empowers Brandenburg companies to help themselves. In addition, the competence center organizes seminars and practical workshops to build up specific knowledge about IT security and to strengthen the IT competence of the participants.

An important part of the KITS offering is its own eLearning platform, which enables companies to obtain both basic knowledge and practical instructions ("hands-on knowledge") in line with their needs and free of charge, so that they can better prevent dangers and assess risks.

"The experience of the last few months shows very clearly that SMEs in particular are very interested in using online offerings, as they provide greater flexibility in terms of time," says Stephan Kornemann Project Manager KITS.

The offer of the eLearning platform is being successively expanded. The courses offered there are grouped thematically and are described by a brief summary of their content. The text information is supplemented by interactive learning materials, virtual demonstrators, and short test questions. In addition to the theoretical transfer of knowledge, specific attacks are presented and made tangible, and suitable protective measures are shown and practiced. The acquired knowledge can be evaluated through question-and-answer tests and small games.