• 09.12.2016
  • Space, Air, Land, Cyber Security, Defence, Group
  • Media release

Cyber Security to become its own business unit

RUAG is significantly ramping up its cyber security activities. The next step will be to establish the independent Cyber Security Business Unit as of 1 January 2017. The business unit will be led by internationally experienced manager and cyber security expert Dietmar Thelen....

RUAG plans to develop its cyber security business more quickly and to invest tens of millions of Swiss francs into this field over the coming years. This was already communicated by RUAG in June 2016. Part of this strategy involves expanding the product and service portfolio, plus consolidating the market position, both in Switzerland and in neighbouring countries. Establishing an independent Cyber Security Business Unit is another crucial step within this strategy. Until now, "Cyber Security" at RUAG was a profit centre within the NEO Services Business Unit. "By having this dedicated Business Unit, we will be able to devote the time and effort necessary to further shape RUAG into one of the leading cyber security partners for European armed forces, authorities and operators of critical infrastructures," says Dr. Markus A. Zoller, CEO RUAG Defence.

Dietmar Thelen to lead Business Unit

The newly established Cyber Security Business Unit is to be led by Dietmar Thelen, an acknowledged expert in this field with many years of experience under his belt. Since his time in the German Armed Forces, he has been involved in developing software to be used in analysis tools for data transmission methods and code analysis. From 2000 to 2003, Dietmar Thelen led "Development of Crypto Systems" at the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). He then went on to work at the Airbus Group, formerly European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS), where from 2003 to 2004 he was IT security expert in the major SASPF project (introduction of standard business software in the German Armed Forces) in Bonn, Germany. This was followed by a position as Head of Security and Cryptodesign for the Galileo System as part of a joint venture in Rome, Italy, from 2005 to 2007.

From 2008 to 2010, he set up the EADS Cyber Security Solution Centre (GER, FRA, UK, USA), and was responsible throughout this time for the cyber security strategy and business development.

He then spent two years as COO of the Odebrecht-Cassidian Defesa S.A. joint venture in Sao Paulo, Brazil, heading up the establishment of the defence and security business of EADS in Brazil/ Latin America. Most recently, he has been working as Programme Director & Deputy General Manager at the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Management Agency in Brussels, Belgium, since the end of 2012. In this role, he implemented the multinational and extremely extensive procurement of the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system with unmanned aircraft (US Global Hawk), as well as the operating and evaluation stations including aircraft approval and IT security accreditation.

Dietmar Thelen has a degree in Electrotechnical Engineering from the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich. In the German Armed Forces, he holds the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel in the reserve, and is currently at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBW) in the field of cyber and ICT systems.

Dr. Markus A. Zoller, CEO of RUAG Defence, is pleased by the new appointment: "With Dietmar Thelen, we have added an acknowledged expert in the field of cyber security to our team. I wish him a successful start in his new role, and look forward to working with him." In addition, Zoller thanks Diego Schmidlin, who will continue to lead the profit centre Cyber Security until the end of 2016, for his dedication and performance. As a future member of the new business unit's management Schmidlin will take on the role of Senior Manager Innovation & Technology Cyber Security.