Another challenging pandemic year is drawing to a close - unfortunately combined with the uncertainties with which 2020 already ended.

Despite the challenges, we look back on a successful 2021. After a one-year break, Europe's largest IT security trade fair it-sa took place again on site in Nuremberg. We were pleased to welcome many familiar and new faces at our booth. Our VS-NfD workstation with zero-trust technology, which we presented for the first time at it-sa 2021, was also very well received. It offers even more protection with the necessary independence from the security architecture of the operating system and makes secure mobile and encrypted work even easier for authorities and organizations with high security requirements.

In 2020, the ruling of the European Court of Justice, which declared the Privacy Shield data protection agreement invalid, caused a furore. The decision made it clear that European data in the USA and also in many other non-European countries is not safe from access by third parties. Another highlight this year in this context: A legal opinion by Prof. Dr. Heckmann, holder of the Chair for Law and Security of Digitalization at the Technical University of Munich, has shown a way out of the cloud dilemma for public authorities and companies. In the expert opinion, Prof. Dr. Heckmann explains how the R&S ®Trusted Gate solution, as a data protection-compliant multi-level system, offers public authorities and companies the opportunity to retain sovereignty over their data and meet the requirements of GDPR in their own IT environment. The special feature of the solution: personal content at the encryption level is separated from cloud services at the business level. In this way, the benefits of external cloud services can be enjoyed without transferring personal data to an "insecure third country".

Despite these successes, we would like to see an end to the pandemic in 2022 and thus the opportunity for more personal contact with our customers and partners. But it is precisely in these times that reliability and continuity become even more important. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your trust and the good cooperation.

We wish you and your families relaxing holidays and all the best for the new year. Stay healthy!

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