Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector

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We are the central authority for information technology in the security sector.

The challenges facing federal agencies with security responsibilities, particularly with regard to information technology capabilities, have become increasingly dynamic in recent years. Our society is becoming more digital, and increasingly faster so. We all take advantage of digitization - secure communications, mobile computing, secure data storage. Unfortunately, this also applies to criminals or terrorists who misuse these technologies for their own purposes. Investigation and intelligence work must therefore always adapt, always keep its finger on the pulse, and it is more important than ever to develop and explore new ways and tools.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) has established the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS) in order to be able to answer the challenges of our increasingly complex world. ZITiS supports Germany's security authorities by pooling technical expertise. Through our expertise, we create tools and solutions that are indispensable for their task fulfillment.

ZITiS is therefore of central importance, both to ensure the future viability of Germany's security authorities and for the countries digital sovereignty.

We are ZITiS

ZITiS Trailer


ZITiS serves Germany's security authorities with research and development in the areas of digital forensics, lawful interception, cryptanalysis and big data analysis, as well as on issues of crime fighting, danger prevention and counterintelligence, but has no intervention powers itself.

Research & Development

ZITiS develops and tests strategies, technical solutions as well as cyber-related tools and joint projects for the German security authorities. Of course, legal requirements define the framework for technical developments.

The basis of our development work is an annual work program that is coordinated with the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Police. In addition, we continue to look to the future with application-oriented research, are a partner for research and science, and work on projects in cooperation with universities, government agencies, institutes and companies on a national and international level.

Support and consultation

Cyber-related solutions to current issues and expertise on technologies such as 5G are spread across different agencies in the federal and state governments, and many of the technical challenges faced by each agency overlap. Most cyber challenges also require a variety of skills from different disciplines to find a solution. ZITiS pools expertise and provides comprehensive advice to security authorities on technical and strategic issues. The experts in the various disciplines sit in one place with us and can easily complement each other. In addition, there are overarching services such as central knowledge databases and quality assurance for products in use.

Innovative solutions in the service of internal security

One of ZITiS' strategic goals is to identify technological trends at an early stage. Innovation and speed are the keys to success here. As part of Germany's cyber security strategy, ZITiS plays a central role in researching and developing cyber-related solutions.

In the field, security authorities often need solutions and know-how from different areas. ZITiS brings these competencies together and maintains an overview. The disciplines and projects in which ZITiS researches, develops and consults are extremely diverse and anything but boring.

ZITiS works in networks. Nationally as well as internationally, we are in exchange with the leading minds in our fields. We maintain cooperations with universities, research institutions, authorities or companies. It is precisely through cooperation with science and industry that we create synergies for more effective further development of technology for the security authorities.


Security agencies must always keep their finger on the pulse in terms of technology and methodology for investigation and intelligence. In addition, many of the technical challenges of the individual authorities overlap, even if the tasks are different. ZITiS pools expertise, conducts central research on new technologies and provides the best possible support to improve the security authorities' ability to act in the future.

Wilfried Karl President
Porträt von Wilfried Karl

Innovation is the core element of our daily work, where we identify technological trends at an early stage and use them to provide security authorities with state-of-the-art solutions quickly and efficiently. Our success factor for this is our employees.

Hans-Christian Witthauer Vice President & CTO
Porträt von Hans-Christian Witthauer

Digital Forensics

Smart phones, tablets and laptops are not only worthwhile targets for delinquent individuals, but also means to commit crimes. In coordination with its stakeholders, ZITiS supports the research and development of new methods for the forensic preservation of digital evidence. These methods form the basis for the forensic exploitation of digital traces and include both software methods and special hardware solutions. Due to the wide use of encryption technology, close cooperation with colleagues from cryptanalysis is necessary. In dealing with the volume of digital traces, a good expertise in Big Data is also essential. Business Unit Management Digital Forensics

In many companies, developers are confronted with routine tasks and narrowly defined subject areas. At ZITiS, on the other hand, I am offered an exciting and varied field of work. Due to our tasks, I always have the chance to test the latest technologies and to accompany future developments myself. Dr. Andreas Attenberger, Head of Research Digital Forensics

Porträt von Andreas Attenberger

Lawful interception

Lawful interception (LI) is an important investigative tool in cases of serious crimes, especially in the area of organized crime and terrorism. ZITiS itself has no powers of its own to conduct interception, but it researches and develops new methods and strategies, provides tools and advises the authorities on how to carry out their legal duties. Due to the widespread use of encryption technology, close cooperation with the cryptanalysis work area is necessary here. In addition, dealing with enormous amounts of data from a variety of sources requires a solid expertise in Big Data. Head of Business Unit LI

ZITiS offers me a lot of opportunities to drive a wide variety of topics and come up with great interesting technical solutions. Through overlapping tasks with other areas, you always get a view beyond your own nose, which makes the daily work very exciting. Work-life balance is also very important to me, and ZITiS has created the best conditions here. Christine Krueger, Senior Expert LI

Porträt von Christine Krüger

Big Data Analysis

In the past, criminals left 'analog' fingerprints; nowadays, they leave reams of digital traces. Evaluating this data, distinguishing relevant from irrelevant data, interpreting it correctly and thus preventing or solving crimes is no easy task for security authorities. ZITiS researches and develops methods to support security authorities in dealing with large amounts of data. The areas of application are as varied as the data to be analyzed. Therefore, experts in both data analysis and high performance computing are located here. Research and development topics are geared to the needs of digital forensics and CID. In addition, HPC is an essential component of applied cryptanalysis. Business Unit Management Big Data Analysis

I always find it appealing to create new knowledge through research. For me, it is important that research adds value to society. I want to experience the tangible results of my work. What does it do anyway? What do people get from it? What do I move? Here at ZITiS, I can say a lot. Dr. Eleanor Hobley, Research Director

Porträt von Eleanor Hobley


Cryptography is actually about protecting data and privacy. However, it also offers delinquent individuals the opportunity to communicate, act, or evade prosecution covertly. ZITiS advises and supports users in dealing with encrypted data. With the help of state-of-the-art laboratories, ZITiS is able to develop methods that can be applied by users and make them available to them. Within ZITiS, the specialist staff for embedded security as well as reverse engineering supports projects in digital forensics and lawful interception in particular. For complex attacks and the use of high-performance computing, the specialists in the Big Data unit are called in. Axel Treßel, Business Unit Manager Cryptanalysis

Porträt von Axel Treßel

At first glance, many things in information and computer technology seem extremely complicated. Recognizing the aesthetics in it and understanding connections is a fascination in itself. Even as a child, I wanted to understand as much as possible about nature and technology. Now I professionally investigate encryption techniques and deal with the underlying ideas every day. At ZITiS, I have a work environment that fosters my talents and a team that shares my interests. Peter Baumgartner, Hardware Engineer Cryptanalysis

Porträt von Peter Baumgartner

Central Services

This is where all the services the organization needs to complete its many tasks are provided. ZITiS is designed to foster innovation and make it possible every day. To ensure the success of our authority, we work in an agile, results-oriented manner and always with our employees in mind. With our subject matter expertise in human resources, IT, organization and infrastructure, and legal and finance, this area is not only the service unit of our agency, but also a core part of ZITiS. Hans-Christian Witthauer, Vice President and CTO

Porträt von Hans-Christian Witthauer

Deaf people often have problems in the working world. With ZITiS, I have an employer who fully supports me. Here, things like origin or status do not play a role. The colleagues are relaxed and even attend offered sign language courses. That's why, overall, we're a really diverse group in every way. Dirk Reinhard, Accounting Officer

Porträt von Dirk Reinhard