What is Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI)?

Have you ever confused your acronyms?  Perhaps you have laughed when someone has had to explain some of the acronyms used in text messages.  Business, and especially technology acronyms are almost as plentiful as text acronyms.  There are few things as embarrassing as being in a business meeting, and mistaking one acronym for another.  This happened recently in a meeting where the acronym “BSI” was not defined in full immediately, and it was especially confusing because the acronyms for both organizations serve similar functions.

For years, many have associated the acronym BSI with the British Standards Institution.  Headquartered in London, the British Standards Institution functions as the world’s largest certification body.  It was the pioneer of standards for management systems, and it publishes standards that impact virtually every aspect of modern society.   This is an important organization, to which many businesses look for guidance across a vast catalog of disciplines.  It is similar to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), offering information about topics that extend beyond information security.

What is the Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI)?

However, BSI is not only a British organization. Germany has an organization that also shares the BSI acronym.  Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) is The Federal Office for Information Security in Germany, and unlike the broader functions of the British Standards Institution, the German BSI has its focus specifically in the world of information security.  It can be loosely compared to the Center for Internet Security, famous for the CIS Controls.

The BSI was founded in 2009 by an act of the government of Germany in an effort to better protect all aspects of information technology.  The BSI serves multiple functions in the cybersecurity arena.  Not only does it serve as an informational source for risks and threats, but it also carries out security testing and assessments of IT systems.  Its audience includes manufacturers, distributors, and users of information technology.  To further its mission, BSI also analyzes IT developments and…