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Previous FSS Security Talks

16th FSS Security Talk | Increased federal commitment to cybersecurity: How secure is Switzerland?, February 21, 2024

 

The numerous participants at the 16th FSS Security Talk as part of the 6th Swiss Cyber Security Days (SCSD), which invited thousands of interested people to BERNEXPO on February 20/21, showed that the topic of cybersecurity is attracting a great deal of attention. In the recent past, the Confederation, authorities and private companies in Switzerland have had to learn from a number of painful examples just how dangerous the massive increase in attacks from the information and cyber space is and what damage they cause.

However, increased awareness of cyberattacks alone is not enough, explained Martin von Muralt, Delegate of the Swiss Security Network (SVS): "For effective crisis management, we need well-coordinated, subsidiary cooperation at all three levels of government (federal, cantonal and municipal) with clear processes and responsibilities." The upcoming Security Network Exercise 2025, where the Federal Council will be practising together with all cantonal governments for the first time, is about gaining important insights in this regard.

"The creation of the new Federal Office for Cyber Security (BACS) and the new State Secretariat for Security Policy (SEPOS) as well as the revision of the Security Information Act at the beginning of 2024 show that the Federal Council and Parliament are taking cyber issues very seriously," emphasized Florian Schütz, new Director of the BACS. The new federal offices are the natural and targeted further development of the existing institutions and a clear response from the federal government to the increased requirements in the area of cyber security.

Increasing cyber resilience is also a hot topic in the private sector, as Tobias Schoch, Chief Security Officer of the AXA insurance group, explained. "As a globally active company with thousands of jobs, AXA recognized the risks early on and invests in cyber security accordingly every year!" This pays off in any case and AXA is among the top 25 companies in terms of cyber defense.

However, the necessary change in awareness of cyber security is not yet taking place in all areas, and there is still a need for action, especially among SMEs, said National Councillor Maja Riniker and member of Sik-N: "It is therefore essential that, on the one hand, awareness and training of cyber risks is promoted, as the most common weak point is still the human being." On the other hand, there needs to be a certain destigmatization of those affected by cyber incidents, especially as there are now various contact points where professional advice can be obtained quickly in the event of a cyber incident.

National Councillor Gerhard Andrey, also a member of the SiK-N, takes a similar view, but identifies an additional danger in the case of stolen data: "This is still far too little recognized today, because in the event of a data leak, it is not only the attacked company that suffers damage, but also all the people whose data has been stolen. The resulting collateral damage to companies and individuals is often simply accepted. For this reason, he wants to work in Parliament to ensure that this issue is taken seriously.

The summary report with a detailed breakdown of the findings from the panel discussion can be found here.


The program with the panel guests can be found here

FORUM SICHERHEIT SCHWEIZ (FSS) can look back on a successful event and would like to thank all panel guests for the exciting discussion and the Swiss Cyber Security Days for their cooperation.

 

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15th FSS Security Talk | Cyber espionage and data security, November 22, 2023

 

In just a few years, humans have created a highly complex cyberspace that enables the total interconnectedness of the world in all dimensions (water, land, air and space). Digital space is highly efficient and useful, but at the same time highly dangerous. The resulting vulnerabilities and risks are also omnipresent in Switzerland, whether from criminal hackers, groups organized in semi-state forms or states. This has serious consequences not only for military and civil security but also for  Switzerland as a location for business and innovation and for a liberal and open civil society in general.


The experts at the 15th FSS Security Talk agreed that there is a great need for action, as Switzerland must significantly and quickly improve its cyber resilience. Nicolas Mayencourt, IT pioneer, put it this way: "If you leave the door of the safe open and hang a sign outside on the street, you shouldn't be surprised when data thieves strike mercilessly".

In the presence of around 150 interested participants, renowned experts such as Major General Jürgen Setzer (Deputy Inspector General CIR and CISO Bundeswehr), Dr. Myriam Dunn Cavelty (Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich), Nicolas Mayencourt (Founder & Global CEO, Dreamlab Technologies), Johann Alessandroni (Head of Information Security Governance, Excellium Services by Thales Group) and Franz Grüter (National Councillor (SVP, LU) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the green.ch Group) discussed the dangers in cyberspace and the steps needed to counter them effectively.
 

The detailed summary report with the exciting findings from the input presentations and the panel discussion can be found here.

Find the program for the event here.

FORUM SICHERHEIT SCHWEIZ (FSS) can look back on a successful event and would like to thank all those who attended for their participation.

 

Photo gallery:

(Photographer: Monika Flückiger)

14th SSF Security Talk | Security of Supply, 4 September 2023

 

Switzerland's prosperity and security of supply are very closely linked to global supply chains. Wars, conflicts, disasters, accidents and other "events" can suddenly affect or even completely disrupt supply chains. The consequences are supply bottlenecks, shortages of goods and rising prices. The consequences of dependence on certain countries and production plants are particularly evident in the area of pharmaceuticals, where for years medicines have been in short supply or no longer available at all, as most active ingredients and basic medical substances are now only produced in China or India. For this reason, countries such as the USA or France have begun to relocate the production of basic medical substances back to their own countries.

Under the buzzwords "de-coupling" or "de-risking", other industries are also trying to reduce their dependence, especially on China. Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, showed in his opening speech, however, that this "de-coupling" often only takes place on paper, but not in reality. At the same time, he pleaded for viewing security of supply not as a problem of globalisation, but as a problem of supply. History shows that opening up to the outside world and greater diversification have been much more effective than protectionism.

Hans Häfliger, the new Federal Commissioner for National Economic Supply, also emphasised the importance of provision in his first public appearance. At the same time, he made it clear that the economy is primarily responsible for national supply and that the FONES only intervenes in a subsidiary capacity. However, there is an important and well-rehearsed cooperation between the private sector and some authorities and sector specialists in Switzerland. One example of this is the minimum reserve system, which apparently attracts a lot of interest abroad.

In the following, highly exciting panel discussion, Dr Hans Häfliger was joined by other proven experts: Martine Ruggli, President, Swiss Pharmacists' Association pharmaSuisse, Dr Alexander Muhm, new Head of Freight Transport and Member of the Executive Board, SBB AG, and Rainer Deutschmann, Head of Security & Transport at Migros-Genossenschaftsbund. Three central topics were discussed: "Global supply chains and security of supply", "Focus on the supply of medicines" and "Crisis management and measures to increase security of supply". The insightful findings of the panel, which was followed by around 90 interested participants, can be found in the summary report.

Find the program of the event here.

 

Photo gallery:

(Photographer: Monika Flückiger)