ICT systems, especially the area of software, are ubiquitous. They play a role in many aspects of our daily lives and dominate business, political and social discourse. The last decade has seen a broad technological as well as economic transformation in which information and communication technologies have taken over large areas of the economy. Millions of lines of program code are now found, for example in modern cars, aircraft, aerospace systems, and critical infrastructure. The influence of software is rapidly increasing with the need for greater autonomy, for example medical robots, banking systems, and blockchain are software controlled. This assumes that safety-critical systems function correctly and run on reliable and secure computing infrastructures.
Although information and communication technologies are used everywhere, the effort required to reliably maintain both software and hardware and make them usable over a long period of time is underestimated. Every day there is new news about expensive and devastating software failures, as well as projects that go over budget or fail due to software development processes. The major industrial companies are all investing heavily in security and increasing the reliability of their ICT systems.
Dependable digitization focuses in particular on the aspects of reliability, survivability and security, with the aim of guaranteeing reliable ICT systems. One perspective is that computing will become predictable and ICT systems can be certified on the basis of precise documentation. In addition, in the event of a failure, a self-healing mechanism should kick in that quickly recovers from local defects and thus ensures the reliability of the system.
The German Informatics Society has defined software reliability as one of its five Grand Challenges. There is enormous potential for industrial collaboration, both regionally and beyond. Innovative companies are represented in the Aachen area and are thus important ICT players. In this context, the recently established Fraunhofer Center for Digital Energy in Aachen represents an important opportunity for technological security activities.