Merkur Versicherung takes a bold step into the future

An IKARUS success story.

It is the DNA that has been the essence of Merkur Insurance since 1798: the human miracle. With the experience of so many years of company history, Austria’s most traditional insurance company focuses on people and their protection. Its core competence lies in the area of private health insurance. Its corporate values are based on self-determination and freedom, which Austria’s most traditional insurance company places in the hands of both customers and employees. With its new brand identity since the beginning of the year, Merkur Versicherung is making a strong statement about the miracle of the human being and is emphasising its identity.

Careful handling of customer data is one of the biggest challenges in IT

Merkur Versicherung attaches great importance to the careful handling of customer data. Health data is particularly worthy of protection, and it is essential to meet the increased legal requirements. Besides, it has to be determined who may access, process and provide which data and how long data records must be kept. With the help of a well-thought-out and networked document management system, all processes related to customers, such as correspondence or payment transactions, are traceable. To this end, training sessions were conducted with numerous employees. Clients’ rights about the handling of their data were strengthened, and processes were implemented to ensure these rights in a timely and comprehensive manner.

Robert Picher

Robert Picher, Head of IT Operations at Merkur

A second significant challenge concerns digitalisation. Merkur has laid the foundation and has already introduced many automated processes that run without external intervention, except for implemented control mechanisms. Using an example, Robert Picher, Head of IT Operations at Merkur, explains:

If a customer wants to submit a pharmacy bill, they have several options for doing so: they can send it by e-mail, send a copy of the bill or scan it in using an app. The content is read automatically via various technical options, and some software developed in-house is also used for this purpose.

Another essential point in the area of digitalisation arose last year due to the pandecmic. In the traditional insurance business, the advisor travelled to the customer and conducted a personal consultation. In Corona times, field staff quickly had to switch to video chat or co-browsing and had to deal with the issue of electronic signatures. The IT quickly provided the appropriate infrastructure out of necessity, and further ideas are about to be realised.

IT Security: No significant changes in cyber attacks last year

According to Robert Picher, “there have been hardly any changes in attacks in the last few months due to Corona. People are still trying to smuggle in malware via the phishing e-mail gateway, but our employees are very well trained to keep a close eye on this. We conduct regular training sessions to raise awareness“. Within these trainings, suspicious e-mail addresses and attachment checks are dealt with as well as the nomination of contact persons in case of doubt. Various recent news about hacker attacks, also in Austria, have prompted Merkur to take new approaches in the future. “Prevention against hacker attacks is certainly essential, but if you get caught in the crosshairs of professionals, an emergency plan to protect your data and how it can be restored in case of an incident is essential,” Robert Picher explains the strategic approach. Real case studies illustrate and analyse how hackers proceed and how everyone can do their part to avoid a successful attack.

IKARUS in use for 4 years

About 4 years ago, Merkur was looking for a new MDM solution (Mobile Device Management). For the approximately 500 smartphones in use, IKARUS and A1 presented themselves as an attractive bundle compared to other providers. The decisive factor in the decision in favour of A1/IKARUS “was, on the one hand, the attractive price package, including the renewal of mobile phones, and on the other hand the functional scope with cloud service, which seemed to be a practicable way for the future compared to the on-promise solution used until then,” Robert Picher explains the decision at the time. IKARUS makes it particularly easy to keep track of and control users’ mobile access. Merkur relies on DEP (Device Enrollment Program) for the device management of the mainly used Apple devices. Based on the recommendation of A1 /IKARUS, the registration and integration of iPhones and iPads is very simple. After the employees have activated their new device, the company-defined account setting configures itself and installs approved apps and access to IT services. Remote configuration and remote control of the mobile devices enable the reliable implementation of the company policy across all systems, protect devices and data from unplanned and unwanted third-party access and the loss of data. Should there still be problems with a large number of end devices and the high administrative effort, the communication with the IKARUS support works very well. “We now know each other and appreciate the professional cooperation,” Robert Picher summarises.

In principle, Merkur prefers local partners, who are ultimately also considered in the decision matrix. Robert Picher says: “It makes certain things easier if you have a local partner and a German-speaking contact person on the phone, for example, to clarify technical issues.

Future challenges in the IT security sector

The balancing act between IT security and usability is an important challenge, especially since the two topics do not always pull in the same direction. Robert Picher cites containerisation as an example: “It’s a great and secure thing, but if a field worker is looking for an address in his car and it’s stored in a container with the best possible security, the best security won’t help if it’s not fully usable in practice.” Caution is required here because users tend to circumvent security measures, such as overcomplicated password requirements. The challenge is not to take sides but to work together to solve such issues.

Merkur Versicherung

Finance & Insurance


Further IKARUS success stories

Volksschule Ried

primary school 2 Ried im Innkreis

Three educational institutions in Ried im Innkreis have one thing in common: they use IKARUS anti.virus as malware protection for their servers and Windows workstations.


"In the event of an incident, every minute counts. The sooner you can get started with targeted measures, the better," Peter Lechner recalls the situation at the time: "Already on the first day after the attack at night, there was a professionally organised crisis meeting with the experts from IKARUS and Mandiant, and we didn't have to wait two or three days for something to happen."
Logo KSV1870

KSV1870 – Austrias leading Creditor Protection Association

“When making the selection decision, it was particularly important for us to find a partner who is ideally located in geographical proximity, has many years of expert know-how and has a globally active partner in the backend. After extensive evaluation, the decision was finally made in favour of XY”, says Thomas Hämmerle.
A1 Digital

A1 Digital – An IKARUS success story.

"In our search for a suitable partner for the essential topic of cyber security, we quickly came across IKARUS Security Software. The already proven cooperation with A1 turned out to be the ideal basis for the desired security platform," Thomas Snor, Director Security at A1 Digital, describes the first steps.


"The challenges for the IT infrastructure are complex because round-the-clock operation is necessary in care. Also the requirements for availability are high."


The partnerships with Nozomi Networks, the technology leader in IT/OT security, and Trellix (formerly FireEye) in collaboration with Mandiant, the market leader in threat intelligence and incident response, combined with the overall know-how and local support of IKARUS, results in a well-rounded total package.


"With IKARUS with ATP, DerMann has a solution that recognizes and blocks spam, malware, dangerous URLs and harmful attachments before they can penetrate the system and cause damage."

Linz University of the Arts

“What counts for us is reaction speed, little effort on our part and the best possible output. It is not the cheapest bidder that gets a chance with us, but the best bidder: We value the professionalism, availability and problem-free communication with the IKARUS team!”


Securepoint is the German market leader in developing professional Unified Threat Management solutions (solutions combining different security tasks on one platform) and the most significant global manufacturer in the cloud sector.
Suzuki Austria

Suzuki Austria

“We are using Mobile Device Management for the first time and quality, reliability and security are particularly important to us," says Gerhard Eber, ICT Manager at SUZUKI AUSTRIA.

ÖAMTC – FireEye/IKARUS Security Software

“In the end, the decision was made, knowing that the comprehensive know-how of the internationally active group FireEye was combined with IKARUS as a regional partner for implementation and service.“ Christoph Pertl, IT Security Officer at ÖAMTC
Motormobil - Ford4you


“Due to the many systems running in parallel, permanent monitoring of the entire chain is a priority to be able to react quickly if something is not running correctly!” Gerhard Lochner, IT Manager of Motormobil
Wittmann Battenfeld


“IKARUS Security Software reacts extremely quickly to local threats and has thus already saved us from countless attacks – it is a fixed component of our security concept”. Ing. Janusz Russocki, Head of IT at WITTMANN Group

OPSWAT: Simultaneous Anti-Malware-Engines

“Since the partnership started, we were continually very happy with the IKARUS scan.engine”, Vinh Lam, OPSWAT´s Senior Software Engineer
Landesschulrat NÖ

Lower Austria Regional School Board

Helmut Neumayr, MSc, specialist in the area of information technology for the LSR NÖ, is convinced of the overall solution: “The total costs per school could be reduced despite the higher quality, while at the same time reducing complexity and improving support.“
Steyr Arms Logo


"We use a multi-level technical security concept and rely on the awareness of our colleagues," explains Walter Hölblinger, CIO at STEYR ARMS
Egger Glas

Egger Glas Insulating and Safety Glass Production

“Our most important criterion for email traffic was a reliable and proven sandbox solution that checks and filters all emails before they reach our mail server. “ Bernhard Posch, Head of IT at Egger Glas GmbH

Cumulo – nimbusec website security monitor

“With IKARUS we have a clear benefit for nimbusec and we benefit also from the long experience of the Austrian company”, says Dipl.-Ing. Marin Leonhartsberger, CEO of Cumulo GmbH.
Computertechnik Wenger & Partner

Computertechnik Wenger & Partner

"IKARUS Security Software covers all our needs in this area and makes this task extremely easy for us with one contact person for all questions!” Michael Haitzmann, managing director Computertechnik Wenger & Partner OG


"With IKARUS I know that they tick in the same way, speak the same language and think as we do." Günter Großschädl, Head of IT Operations
Bad Radkersburg

Bad Radkersburg

Andreas Puntigam, IT manager of the municipality of Bad Radkersburg, knows that an operational 24/7 support can only be achieved with reliable partners: "Externally, we rely on one partner for the entire server landscape, for example, as well as for the firewall." The municipality of Bad Radkersburg has been working with the leading Austrian provider IKARUS Security Software on the important issue of IT security since 2010.
A1 Telekom

A1 Telekom

“IKARUS Security Software provides high-quality security solutions which have been customized for our specific needs. The company staff are a group of highly trained and diligent experts which have an excellent communication style. They are punctual, responsive and highly skilled in terms of technical support which makes our day to day operations and interactions with our end customers much easier.” Thomas Schmidt, MBA MSc, A1 Security Services, A1 Telekom Austria AG
Triburg Freight Services

Triburg Freight Services

“We were impressed by the fast reaction times and the communication style with CLOUDMIND and IKARUS”, says Madhu Kurup, IT-Administrator at TFS


IKARUS Security Software GmbH Blechturmgasse 11
1050 Vienna

Phone: +43 (0) 1 58995-0
Sales Hotline:
+43 (0) 1 58995-500


Support hotline:
+43 (0) 1 58995-400

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