The HGI

The Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) was founded at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) in 2002 to address shortcomings in IT security research in Europe as a whole. The institute currently hosts 21 professors and their teams, who conduct research in electrical engineering and information technology, mathematics as well as the humanities and social sciences.

This interdisciplinary environment covers nearly all aspects of IT security, from basic research in cryptography to internet security, security for the Internet of Things, usability and data protection. With some 200 scientists, the HGI is one of the largest and most highly respected university institutes for IT security in Europe. The institute’s successful formula is based on three key elements: world-class research, related study courses and transfer.

Research

The exceptional quality of our research is evident, for example, in the over 160 projects that have received external funding. These projects have produced groundbreaking innovations and led to the founding of a number of successful start-ups. Furthermore, the HGI is the sole research institution in IT security to have secured three highly competitive European Research Council (ERC) grants.

 

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Study

The RUB has been a pioneer in IT security since establishing the first degree programme in the field in 2000. Today the HGI offers four degree programmes: a consecutive Bachelors and Masters programme, a Masters degree for students with a bachelors degree in computer science, electrical engineering, information technology, mathematics or physics, and a part-time distance-learning degree programme. With some 1.000 students, annual enrolment of 200 and 120 graduates each year, the HGI is the largest educational institution in Europe specialised in IT security.

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Networks

The transfer of research findings is an key aspect of the HGI’s work. This can be seen in the impressive number of well-known collaborative partners, including a number of global companies such as Bosch and Google. The nrw.uniTS IT security network, founded in 2012 and coordinated by the HGI, is a key advocate of and forum for cooperation and exchange among IT security actors in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). That’s not all – for ten years now, the ITS.Connect careers fair has provided an opportunity for IT security students and companies to meet, while ITS-Pitch, which took place for the second time in 2017, connects start-ups in the field with potential investors.

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Historie

1999
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2014
2015
2016
2017
1999
The idea of establishing an institute to address shortcomings in publicly funded research in Europe in IT security is first mooted.
2000
A new course in IT security leading to a Dipl.-Ing. degree in “Security in Information Technology” is launched with an initial cohort of 30 students.
2001
The first two chairs are established while the Institute is still in the process of being founded. The first two professors attached to the institute are Prof. Hans Dobbertin, a renowned cryptographer (d. 2006), and Prof. Christof Paar, an expert in research on “embedded security”.
2002
The Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security is formally established and officially opened at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The institute’s name acknowledges the generous donation made by the Horst Görtz Foundation, which was invaluable in founding the new institute. Dr Horst Görtz remains closely involved with the institute’s research activities.
2003
Appointment of Prof. Jörg Schwenk to the Chair for Network and Data Security. The establishment of a junior professorship under Prof. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi. The institute’s public profile is raised by the founding of the European Network of Excellence in Cryptography (ECRYPT), the Embedded Security in Cars (ESCAR) conference and its co-organisation of the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES) conference. ESCAR continues to be the most important international conference focused on cyber-security in cars.
2004
The a-i3-Symposium (Working Group on Identity Protection on the Internet) is founded under the helm of Prof. Jörg Schwenk. It is now the oldest initiative in Germany focused on legal aspects of IT security. The first masters programme is established, and interdisciplinary initiatives are given further impetus with the appointment of Prof. Borges from the Faculty of Law.
2005
The first degrees in “Security in Information Technology” are awarded.
2006
Thomas Dullien, a doctoral student at the HGI, takes first place and €100,000 in prize money in the German Prize for IT-Security (Deutscher IT-Sicherheitspreis). Timo Kasper is awarded the CAST Prize for best thesis in the field of IT security.
2007
Prof. Alexander May is appointed to the Chair for Cryptography and IT Security.
2008
ITS.Connect is founded, Germany’s first careers fair focused on IT security.
2009
Co-organisation of EUROCRYPT, the world’s largest cryptography conference, held in Cologne.
2010
A number of generous research awards for IT security are secured: the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award (Prof. Eike Kiltz), funding from the Emmy Noether Programme (Dr Christopher Wolf), first and second place in the German Prize for IT-Security and all three top places in the CAST Prize for theses are awarded to HGI members. Two additional research groups are established at the HGI, the first for "Secure Hardware" (Prof. Günyesu) and the second for "Embedded Malware" (Prof. Thorsten Holz).
2011
Prof. Christof Paar is named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of cryptographic engineering.
2012
The DFG graduate school “New Challenges for Cryptography in Ubiquitous Computing” (UbiCrypt) is established, the first doctoral training programme in cryptography in Germany. Prof. Thorsten Holz is appointed to the Chair for Systems Security. nrw.uniTS, a network for IT security firms in North Rhine-Westphalia, is launched. Prof. Christof Paar is awarded the Innovationspreis NRW (NRW Innovation Award).
2013
A junior professorship for information security is established under Prof. Christina Pöpper. Bochum students and doctoral researchers secure four CAST Prizes for theses and dissertations.
2014
Prof. Eike Kiltz is awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council. A junior professorship for mobile security is established under Prof. Markus Dürmuth.
2015
Prof. Eike Kiltz is appointed to the Chair for Cryptography. A junior professorship for applied cryptography is established under Prof. Sebastian Faust. The European Research Council awards Prof. Thorsten Holz an ERC Starting Grant. Prof. Gregor Leander is named to the Heisenberg Chair.
2016
Prof. Christof Paar is awarded an ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. The interdisciplinary graduate school “Security for People in Cyberspace (SecHuman)” is established. The addition of six new professors from the humanities and social sciences further strengthens the institute’s interdisciplinary character. Record “Best Paper” awards: Prof. Eike Kiltz receives his fourth Best Paper Award at Eurocrypt, the flagship conference for researchers in cryptography. The first ITS-Pitch for start-ups is organised in conjunction with RUB’s Worldfactory.
2017
The establishment of a W2-level professorship for security technology under Prof. Tim Güneysu. A leading role in the founding of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) consortium. Founding of the NRW-wide “Human Centered Systems Security (NERD NRW)” graduate school, with the HGI assuming the leading role. The HGI becomes a full research department at the RUB.