Asvin, a start-up led by its founder Mirko Ross, focuses on monitoring critical infrastructure and global industry supply chains. The multinational team at asvin GmbH is dedicated to proactively identifying and addressing potential threats to the data infrastructure of industrial companies.

As global companies expand their operations, their attack surfaces have grown significantly. To address this challenge, asvin GmbH, based in Stuttgart, is dedicated to the prevention and detection of potential attacks. Their focus lies in safeguarding the data infrastructure of globally active companies.

How crucial is it to consider the global market when searching for a company in the internet world?

When we started our company, we realized the need to think globally and look beyond Germany. Initially, our focus was on the European market, considering how cybersecurity would develop in Europe and how Europe should position itself in a world where various actors target companies and institutions. However, it’s important to understand that cybersecurity is a global issue that affects all regions, not just Europe. We also recognize the importance of markets like the USA and India, which are of great interest to us.

How does internationalization impact customers, particularly considering that larger companies often manage global supply chains?

The state of Baden-Württemberg thrives on its strong presence in global markets, particularly in the industrial sector. At asvin, our goal is to secure and support our industrial customers in ensuring cybersecurity on a global scale. Although our headquarters are in Stuttgart, we are committed to accompanying and assisting our customers in international markets. In other words, we understand the need to adapt and meet the global demands of our customers, as they operate in a highly interconnected world.

“Attackers behave like global corporations, working in worldwide teams. Therefore, it is crucial to foster a strong international community that collaborates in defence against these attacks.”

How important is the exchange within the global cybersecurity community in addressing these challenges, and how does asvin manage knowledge sharing in this regard?

The cyber security field is a truly global community due to two main reasons. Firstly, attackers operate internationally, resembling global corporations, despite being localized in specific regions. They work in international teams. To counter this, it is vital to foster a strong international community that focuses on defence, prevention, and detection. Intensive knowledge exchange takes place through online platforms and forums. Secondly, at asvin, our team is also international, with employees from around the world collaborating remotely using advanced tools to tackle the essential tasks for our customers.

Small companies often face challenges in managing the diverse requirements imposed by governments regarding data infrastructure localization. How can a small company effectively navigate and address these varying demands?

Maintaining a strong connection with cybersecurity regulators is vital to us. We actively engage with policymakers, particularly within the EU, to stay informed about the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. This early awareness allows us to understand upcoming plans and their implementation in national legislation. We emphasize active participation in committees, such as our involvement with BDI, to gain early insights into developments and assess their potential impact on our company and customers.

“It is essential to strategize and position companies in a way that minimizes the likelihood of severe attacks and enables effective mitigation if they do occur, with minimal negative repercussions.”

How closely does asvin engage with security agencies in the present circumstances?

When it comes to cybercrime, it can be difficult to distinguish between financially motivated criminals and state-sponsored actors engaged in covert economic warfare, possibly with military implications. For instance, in cases of ransomware attacks, the motivations behind the extortion can range from classic criminal intent to state-driven efforts to weaken rival nations and their economies. The blurred lines in these situations highlight the significance of our collaboration with authorities, as the interests of states and the economy are intricately interconnected and cannot be easily separated.

Has asvin been able to effectively help authorities or companies overcome challenging situations?

Cyber attacks come in various forms, and it is crucial to have an action plan in place for severe ransomware incidents. At asvin, we primarily focus on prevention, ensuring that companies are well-prepared to avoid such attacks or handle them effectively with minimal harm. However, the complexity of these situations is increasing. For example, if a cyber weapon disrupts satellite communications in Ukraine, it can have repercussions such as a major wind turbine supplier in Germany losing data from their turbines. This demonstrates the concept of cyber collateral damage. It’s essential to understand that in our interconnected world, local attacks can have unforeseen impacts on entities operating in different regions.

In a world where cyber threats are widespread, how can smaller industrial SMEs safeguard themselves? Does asvin also cater to this particular target group?

Our primary target group is the globally active industry, which operates within an extensive global network and therefore has a significant need for protection due to its large attack surface. This certainly applies to a considerable portion of the industry in Baden-Württemberg. However, there are also smaller SMEs, typically with around 500 to 600 employees, that face significant challenges in terms of cybersecurity. To be honest, even we find it challenging because these companies often lack the necessary infrastructure, personnel, and expertise in-house. Such companies require additional tools like cybersecurity solutions or access to expert networks. The state of Baden-Württemberg is actively addressing this issue.

Considering the current scenario, does asvin anticipate a significant growth potential overall?

Established in Stuttgart in 2018, our company has witnessed significant growth over the years. As we explore potential foreign markets and locations, we acknowledge Europe as our core market where we have already established an international presence. However, we are actively considering other markets, including the USA and high-growth markets like India, to determine the necessity of establishing a physical presence. In the virtual realm, our operations are already functioning smoothly.

“Companies with extensive global networks face larger attack surfaces that need to be protected. This holds true for a significant portion of the industry in Baden-Württemberg.”

Effective global knowledge management is vital for the employees of asvin GmbH to protect against cyber attacks, which are often organized on an international level. By collaborating worldwide, they stay informed about the latest developments and are better equipped to address evolving threats.