Whether companies, individuals, or organisations, whether at national or international le vel, everyone is required to ensure data protection and the security of their associated systems. It was this belief that inspired Kathrin Asmuth to come up with achelos GmbH in 2008. Currently, Kathrin is the Managing Partner of the company.
With a team of approx. 75 employees, she developed the company as a manufacturer independent software company specializing in products, solutions, and services.
achelos helps to ensure cross-sector security of digital identities and embedded technologies in security-critical fields of application, be it Security, Health, Mobility, IoT or Public Administration.
“There is no such thing as low-tech industry – just low-tech management, hence lifelong learning is a must!”
The company is highly recognized for its outstanding performance in developing security specifications, security evaluation of products or processes according to international security standards like Common Criteria and automatic conformance testing of security critical products.
Prior to founding achelos GmbH Kathrin held the position of General Manager, Product Development worldwide at Sagem Orga GmbH (today Idemia) until 2008. There, she managed all international development units with around 235 employees.
Kathrin Asmuth has an expertise in the field of security technology for embedded systems and has been able to incorporate this in many national and international customer projects and expert committees.
Below is an exclusive interview between Kathrin and CIO Look:
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?
There are two essential impacts in my life:
When we became parents, a door opened to a previously unknown space full of new emotions, tasks, joys, and responsibilities. It re-adjusted our values on which our actions are based and focused on the essentials in life.
I had to learn what influence the sale of a company can have on the teams in the company. High company valuations please the seller, but the burden on the sold company can be so enormous that it cannot recover from it. I have experienced how important it is to have fun at work and how quickly this gets lost when the value system for daily interaction is changed. achelos exists only in the light of these experiences.
What is the operating philosophy and cutting-edge services/solutions that the company has been built on?
We work in an agile, open, fair, and collaborative environment based on collegial management decisions by making the personal responsibility of our staff members a principle.
“Working time is lifetime”, therefore we arrange this time in such a way that it gives us joy, brings fulfilment and is positive in its balance. And this is how we provide top performance.
What is your vision for the company for the next five years?
The near future will show increasing challenges to secure data and communication between people and things as well as things and things. The buzzwords are AI, Digital Health, Industrial IoT, Car 2 Car, etc. Our vision for this technologically foreseeable future is to be at the forefront of companies delivering subject matter expertise to our worldwide customers in their domain combined with our continuously broadening expertise in the design and implementation of the necessary security level.
According to you, which upcoming/current technology is going to be a disruptive force for security industry in a near future?
First examples of quantum computers are being explored already and this technology will change the current use of cryptography substantially, as quantum computers can be used to break e.g. commonly used elliptic curve cryptography for data and communication security.
As a CEO/leader, describe a challenge you overcame.
Change is the biggest challenge in business. We tend to become comfortable with what we are used to and close our eyes to change.
“Who moved my cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a nice narration about this phenomenon and how to overcome it.
How do you sustain your leadership spirit in this changing technological era?
There are two aspects to be considered sustaining our leadership:
- Our company culture.
As said above we live collegial leadership principals in an agile environment which result in joint solution finding and decision making with practically as little hierarchy intervention as possible. Personal responsibility is the key success factor not only for timely project development and deployment but also for the further development of our own competences.
- Our experience and expertise.
We are security enthusiasts, always looking for new and unconventional solutions, combining our subject “
matter expertise with solutions that we experience at national or international conferences or elaborate in working groups of standardization bodies and industry associations.
What advice would you like to give to the emerging business leaders?
- Look for shareholders who understand the business you are in
- Know Your Customers and make their problems your challenges
- Be among the leaders of the technology used in your business
- Define your company ethics and values and live them
- Trustworthiness and reliability are not only a reputation, treat them as your asset
- Strive to be leading domain specialist, powered by the know-how of your expert team
“With the professional support of achelos we successfully passed Common Criteria Certification in time.” (Terminal Manufacturer)
“Through the partnership with achelos we successfully met a critical milestone in our vision of creating a seamless and independent orchestration layer for IoT connectivity.” (Communication Service Provider)
“In our partner-based business model we work extremely flexible with achelos and always find the right solution or product to serve our customers.” (Business Sales Partner)
“We are happy to work in a close partnership with achelos, their speed and flexibility are perfectly aligned with our core values.” (Network Operator)