The crown jewels out there somewhere

Classify, encrypt, protect – this is the recipe for success at M&H IT-Security GmbH. The company’s software keeps sensitive data safe – all over the world

Hans-Peter Möschle, Bernhard Altmann, Ralf Ehren (v.l.) © Faceland

For some, clouds are simply wonderful. They are the gateway to a brave new world full of unlimited possibilities. For others, clouds are simply a nightmare come true. They are the gates of an IT hell. While many start-up companies could not survive in the market without cloud systems, they give the IT departments many sleepless nights. „For IT departments, clouds are a total horror. Because with them, the data is no longer located in the company,“ says Hans-Peter Möschle, main shareholder and Managing Director of the M&H Group. These days, hardly a single IT system is still self-contained. Documents, contracts, technical data, design plans or research work, some of this highly confidential, are buzzing around out there somewhere on the internet. These documents and data must be protected – from being accessed by outsiders on the one hand, but also within the companies. For example, when employees are leaving the company or changing to a different position, or when projects with deadlines are completed.

„Of course, the question is, what is actually confidential and which documents need to be protected?“ explains Ralf Ehren, Managing Director of M&H IT-Security GmbH. Because this is not about the majority of data, but rather the „crown jewels“ as the jargon has it. That is, particularly sensitive documents that should only be available to very specific users. For this distinction to be made, the documents must be classified and a user group defined. This is exactly where M&H IT-Security GmbH comes to the aid of medium-sized companies in particular. The IT specialists were honored with the Innovation Award from Initiative Mittelstand (a medium-sized company initiative).

Software is used to assign a unique identification code to documents and data and then encrypt them. „In the past, they were stamped ‘confidential’,“ Hans-Peter Möschle explains. The code now performs this function. Only those with the correct authorization, and the password or chip card, for example, can open, print or change the document. For every opening a request on an internal company server is required, thus enabling the detection and prevention of unauthorized attempts to open the document. In the future, the federal printing office in Berlin, with whom a partnership has existed for many years, is to be the central certification authority for these requests. „At the same time, we endeavour to keep the security as simple as possible for our customers,“ says Hans-Peter Möschle, who began his work in this area around ten years ago in Berlin. „I recognized Berlin’s potential early on. The city is simply an incredible place for innovation,“ says the native of Baden.

Since it was founded in 1997, the company has its offices in Hardenbergstrasse. „We’ve resisted every trend,“ says Ralf Ehren. The company benefits from its proximity to the Technical University of Berlin (TU) and the Fraunhofer Institute. „Contact with professors and students remains very important to us,“ explains Ralf Ehren, himself an alumnus of the TU.

And by now the clouds are only half as bad.

Stefanie Paul
Kluge Köpfe 2014