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German cabinet ministers propose stricter rules for reporting IT security breaches (Photo: German Interior Ministry)

The German government has presented a draft IT security law that aims to boost data protection in companies, public offices and private households. The paper, drafted by the Interior Ministry, proposes to have IT security minimum standards for energy and telecommunications networks, banks and transportation organizations. These would have to abide by the requirements and immediately report cyber attacks.

"We have to become more secure than we have been up to now," said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. "Those who put others at risks have to bear the responsibility for this," he added. "Whoever manages critical infrastructures has to manage them in a secure fashion."

Germany's high-tech association, Bitkom, welcomed the proposed legislation. "We think it's very positive that business will be involved in formulating the detailed law," said Bitkom President Dieter Kempf.

Bitkom estimates that a proposed requirement for companies and organizations to report serious IT security breaches would cost German industry up to 1.1 billion euros.