Policy Paper No.7

Cyber Insurance as a Contribution to IT Risk Management


  • Dr. Tim Stuchtey
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Wagner
  • Tina Töpfel

Dr. Tim Stuchtey studied economics at the University of Münster and completed his doctoral degree at the Technische Universität Berlin in the field of economic and infrastructure policy under Prof. Hans-Jürgen Ewers. He worked as personal advisor to the president of the Technische Universität before transferring to the economic policy office of a German industry association. In 2001 he moved to the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin where he became the head of the newly created office for strategic development and planning, and later chief of staff of the office of the president.

At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Tim established the Humboldt Institution on Transatlantic Issues (HITI). In 2007 he became Senior Fellow and Program Director Business and Economics of the renowned American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

In 2010 he became Executive Director of the newly-founded Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS) in Potsdam. His research focuses include the economics of security, transatlantic economic relations and classical regulatory policy.

Dr. Tim Stuchtey's Publications

E-Mail: tim.stuchtey(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Prof. Dr. Dieter Wagner was Professor for Business Management until October 2012 with a focus on organization and human resources management at the University of Potsdam. Prof. Wagner is Founding Director of BIGS. More about him is available here.

Tina Töpfel is a graduate focused on Media Studies, completing her studies at the University of Osnabrück, the University of Zurich, and the TU in Berlin.

From June 2014 to January 2017, before taking over office management at BIGS, Tina worked at the German-African Business Association in Berlin in the Department of Countries and Markets. After a year as project manager, she developed a web portal in the Health Tour/Ayurveda market sector and oversaw the launch of the market as well.

Before that, she was an independent entrepreneur and managing director of a children's furniture business at Savignyplatz in Berlin as well as the operator of its corresponding online-shop.
Tina Töpfel is the office manager at the Brandenburg Institute of Society and Security since March of 2017.

E-Mail: tina.toepfel(at)bigs-potsdam.org


  • Dr. Neil Ferguson
  • Dr. Caroline von der Heyden
  • Alexandra Korn
  • Anna Peters
  • Dr. Johannes Rieckmann
  • Alexander Ritzmann
  • Alexander Szanto

Dr. Neil Ferguson is an economist specializing in research topics of development and security. He completed his PhD on the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics at Heriot-Watt University and has subsequently worked at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He holds research interests in applied microeconomics, applied microeconometrics, impact evaluation and behavioural game theory and has conducted work in Northern Ireland, Mexico, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and across Sub-Saharan Africa.

 E-Mail: Neil.Ferguson(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Dr. Caroline von der Heyden joined BIGS in December 2014 as a Research Fellow, contributing to projects such as WISIND and RiskViz. She is an expert in the socio-economic aspects of civil security and focuses on innovative organizational concepts and strategies relating to sociopolitical security issues. She currently serves as the main point of contact for project BERKoS (“Aufbau von Europäischen Konsortien für die Sicherheitsforschung") which is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the “Deutsche Antragssteller fit für Europa“ initiative. BERKoS targets civil security actors in R&D, industry, and political fields that relate to European security research programs like Horizon 2020 and FP9.

After studying International Economics at the University of Maastricht and the University of Sao Paulo (B.Sc. Economics, 2006), she went on to work at the German-American Chamber of Commerce, the OHRM-ETS at the United Nations in New York, and Bertelsmann in Shanghai, specializing in the fields of communication, administration, and corporate management development. During her studies in criminology at the University of Edinburgh (M.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2009) she gained experience in community mediation and neighborhood dispute resolutions (SACRO). In her last position as a Research Associate in the Department of Criminology, Criminal Policy and Police Science at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) she developed and coordinated the international master’s program in Criminal Justice, Governance and Police Science (www.macrimgov.eu). She recently finished her doctoral studies (Dr. rer. soc., 2016) discussing the role of the costs of crime estimates for evidence-based decision-making (“Costs of Crime – Towards a more humane, rational, and unified criminal justice policy in Germany“).

Caroline von der Heyden's publications

E-Mail: caroline.vdheyden(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Alexandra Korn joined BIGS as a Junior Research Fellow in September 2017. She works on the pilot project “Integration at eye level – peer mediation of values for refugees”, which is funded under the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth’s program Demokratie leben!. The project aims at complementing existing methods of value mediation in integration by means of creating a platform for dialogue on equal footing, based on peer group and theatre education approaches.

After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in European Studies from Maastricht University, she gathered first working experience in public relations at the United Nations Association of Germany in Berlin. Subsequently, she completed a traineeship in public affairs at European media network EurActiv and most recently worked as a Program Manager for the European Foundation for Democracy. 

Anna Constanze Peters is a Junior Research Fellow at BIGS where she is part of the research project “RiskViz – Providing a risk situation picture of industrial IT security in Germany”. Additionally, she conducts a consulting project for the improvement of security processes of a large German conference center.  

Anna originally joined BIGS in 2014 as a student assistant, a role which she undertook alongside her Master’s studies at the University of Potsdam where she completed her degree in Business Administration with a focus on Management Studies. She has also acquired a Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy, where she focused on the insurability of climate risks and climate-related fragility risks, amongst other topics. Between the completion of her Bachelor’s degree in International Business (studying in Cologne and the Philippines) and commencing her Master’s degrees, she spent time working for McKinsey & Company.

E-mail: Anna.Peters[at]bigs-potsdam.org

Dr. Johannes Rieckmann has been employed at BIGS as Senior Research Fellow since August 2015. He engages in economics of cyber-security, regulatory policy regarding public and private provision of security services; and  linking-up of civil security stakeholders from research, development, production, policy makers and application-oriented end users in context of research framework programs.

Johannes studied Economics and Business Studies in Bremen and Paris; and worked for Management Consultancies in Hamburg and Brussels. Subsequently he earned his doctorate at the Chair of Economic Theory and Development Economics at the University of Göttingen. In his dissertation he examined the impact of piped water and improved sanitation on Yemenite households, the determinants of drinking water treatment in Yemenite provincial towns, and the impact of military and paramilitary conflict on inner-household behavior using the example of domestic violence in Colombia.

In his subsequent function as a postdoc research associate at the Department of Development and Security at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) he worked on the development of the WISIND security indicator which contrasts objective crime burden – allowing for darkfield and severity – with subjective perception in Germany. Furthermore he coordinated field research of an development study in Kyrgyzstan.

Dr. Johannes Rieckmann's publications

E-Mail: johannes.rieckmann(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Alexander Ritzmann is a Senior Research Fellow at the BIGS since September 2015. He is an expert on the subject of terrorism, radical ideologies and democracy promotion. Ritzmann is representing the BIGS at the Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN) of the European Commission.

From September 2012 to December 2015 Alexander worked as Senior Advisor Mena Region and Project Manager for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, based in Cairo, Egypt. He already was a BIGS fellow in 2010/2011. Before that, Alexander was a Senior Policy Advisor with the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels and a non-resident Fellow at the American Center for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, DC. From 2001 to 2006 he was a member of the Berlin State Parliament focusing on homeland security and data protection issues. Alexander received his masters degree in political science from Free University Berlin in 2000.

Alexander Ritzmann's publication's

E-Mail: alexander.ritzmann(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Alexander Szanto joined BIGS in May 2017 as a Cybersecurity Junior Research Fellow. He contributes primarily to the research project HERMENEUT which assesses various organisations’ vulnerabilities and their corresponding at-risk assets, focusing on economic issues of cybersecurity. HERMENEUT works to integrate vulnerability assessments with the probability that these vulnerabilities will occur and with an innovative macro- and micro-economic model for tangible and intangible costs. The assessments then estimate the risks of an organisation or business, providing investment guidelines and measures for the entity to implement in order to mitigate the aforementioned risks. The project is part of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Alexander studied European Studies at the University of Maastricht and as part of his studies he spent a semester abroad at the Sciences Po in Paris with a focus on International Relations. He subsequently earned a Master’s degree in Intelligence and International Security, concentrating in Cybersecurity and Political Developments in the Middle East post-1945 in the War Studies Department of King’s College in London.

He gained his first working experience during his apprenticeship at Bayer AG with stations in Milan and Cardiff and at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics for a sixth-month period in New York City. Prior to joining BIGS, Alexander Szanto worked in the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf, where he provided research and advice on digital politics and domestic security policy.

E-Mail: Alexander.Szanto[at]bigs-potsdam.org

Non-Resident Fellows

  • Dr. Constance P Baban
  • Alexis Below
  • Yvonne Gruchmann
  • Dr. Christopher Paun
  • Dr. Svenja Post
  • Dr. Dennis Schmidt-Bordemann
  • Dr. Thorsten Wetzling

Dr. Constance P. Baban was a Senior Research Fellow and Project Leader at the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS) in Potsdam, where she headed the project "RiskViz – Providing a Risk Situation Picture of Industrial IT Security in Germany" funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. She holds a PhD ("summa cum laude") and a Master of Arts ("magna cum laude") in Applied Linguistics, Political Science, and Media & Communication Science from Leibniz Universität Hannover. Her PhD thesis on Germany’s political security discourse from 2001 to 2009 has been published by Springer VS in 2013. 

Constance has several years of professional experience in academia and research, the public sector as well as in the field of security affairs, technology and digitization. She is also a Non-Resident Fellow in the Foreign and Domestic Policy Program at AICGS at Johns Hopkins University - a transatlantic think tank based in Washington, DC. Moreover, she holds the position of Vice-Chairman of the Young British Chamber of Commerce in Germany / Berlin-Brandenburg Region, a BCCG membership network of young business executives.

E-Mail: constance.baban(at)bigs-potsdam.org

 Dr. Constance P. Baban´s Publications

Alexis Below was a Junior Research Fellow at BIGS from August 2012 to May 2016, where he was working on selected issues at the interface between foreign, development and security policy. He studied International Relations, International Economics and Conflict Management in Dresden, Beijing, Bologna and Washington, D.C., receiving his Master of Arts from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2011.

Prior to joining BIGS, Alexis worked for the nongovernmental organization Partners for Democratic Change and as a consultant for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). He also gained professional experience working for, among others, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the Federal Foreign Office, and The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).

At BIGS, Alexis worked on the collaborative research project fit4sec, the competence center for security and technology, funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education, where he was focusing on vocational training and university-level education for civil security.

Alexis Below's Publications

Yvonne Gruchmann studied economics at the University of Gothenburg as well as at the University of Potsdam with a focus in statistics. She was a teaching and research assistant for Public Finance at the University of Potsdam and worked at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the European Institute for International Economic Relations (EIIW) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Yvonne was a Research Fellow at BIGS since September 2013. She worked at the WISIND project, where the team at BIGS was designing an economic survey for the security industry. In collaboration with the DIW, the WISIND project generates new data for a security index that seeks to measure security. Since 2015 Yvonne is involved with RiskViz, a project aiming to detect the cyber-risk on cyber-physical systems of critical infrastructure. Her focus within the project rest with risk modelling.

E-Mail: yvonne.gruchmann(at)bigs-potsdam.org

Dr. Christopher Paun was a Senior Research Fellow at BIGS in Potsdam from December 2016 to February 2018. His main research interest is cooperation for the provision of security, including international, inter-agency and public-private cooperation. In his PhD thesis he analyzed law enforcement cooperation by comparing several global public-private partnerships against intellectual property crimes, for example involving Interpol, the World Customs Organization and the World Health Organization. He completed his doctoral research at the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), after having studied International Relations, Political Science and Cultural Studies in Frankfurt (Oder), Potsdam, Berlin and Washington D.C.

Dr. Paun has several years of experience in academia, journalism and politics. For example, he has been working as a freelance journalist for a London-based legal publisher, analyzing and ranking law firms in multiple countries and legal areas. Before that, he worked in the German parliament, where he provided research and advice on foreign and security policy for a Member of Parliament.

Publications by Dr. Christopher Paun

Svenja Post was a Senior Research Fellow at BIGS from September 2013 to May 2016, where she was working on comprehensive crisis management issues and emerging security challenges.

Svenja holds a graduate degree in political science, law, and peace and conflict studies from the Philipps University in Marburg. She received a doctorate from the Helmut Schmidt University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg. In her doctoral thesis, Svenja looked at the challenges comprehensive crisis management poses for the European Union and its member states. She also was a guest researcher at the German Council on Foreign Relations and DAAD Research Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Before her doctorate studies, she assisted the European and Transatlantic Security Programme of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Svenja also is an active member of Women In International Security Germany (WIIS.de).

Svenja Post's Publications

Dr. Dennis Schmidt-Bordemann was a Senior Research Fellow at BIGS from April to December 2014. He studied Medieval and Modern History, Political Science and Journalism at the University of Leipzig. In 2011 he earned his PhD with a Study on "Anxiety and Trust as Parameter of Politics. The Precedent of American Anticommunism, 1945-1952". Dennis worked several years in German parliamentary and party organizations and is well versed in matters of political process, political communication and campaigning. At the BIGS he worked for the WISIND project, designing an economic survey for the security industry. Dennis currently works for the communications department of the German Insurance Association (GDV).

Dr. Thorsten Wetzling was a Senior Research Fellow at BIGS from September 2013 until December 2015. He worked on the collaborative research project fit4sec, the competence center for security and technology, funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education. Within the project, Thorsten was focusing on capacity building for research and science on civil security. Before coming to Potsdam in September 2013, Thorsten worked as Senior Fellow at The Hague Institute for Global Justice and Advisor for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) on various projects related to data privacy in transatlantic relations, civil-military affairs and security sector governance in Morocco and Tunisia. From 2009 until 2011, Thorsten was a Transatlantic Post-Doctoral Fellow for International Relations and Security (TAPIR) working at the French Institute for International Relations (ifri) in Paris, the RAND Corporation in Arlington, VA. and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Thorsten Wetzling's Publications