The fourth edition of the Swiss Cyber Security Days offered a high-level knowledge input for the audience and Switzerland with the American Cyber Security Director and advisor to President Joe Biden. He emphasized the importance of good cooperation, as cyberspace knows no national borders, and praised Switzerland’s potential for innovation. Conclusion from the more than 130 presentations and discussions: Switzerland has caught up in cybersecurity, created more necessary awareness and wants to intensify international cooperation.

The fourth edition of the Swiss Cyber Security Days (SCSD), the most important meeting on cyber security in Switzerland, brought together key decision-makers and experts in the field of cyber security at national and international level and around 2,000 visitors on Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7. The first day focused on key global security issues for Switzerland. At the opening ceremony, National Councilor and SCSD President Doris Fiala and Daniel Berger, president of Cyber Resilience Ltd, which is organizing the event, pointed out that the increase in infrastructures and data transfer volumes is leading to ever greater vulnerabilities. Moreover, these processes have been accelerated by the pandemic. Companies and administrations are confronted with and threatened by cybercrime on a daily basis, he said. Olivier Curty, President of the State Council of the Canton of Fribourg, also welcomed the participants on the first day in a welcoming message and underlined the importance of cyber security for the cantons.

Global security issues on the first day

Among the highlights of the first day of the congress was the presentation by Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director and Advisor to the President of the United States Joe Biden. He stressed the importance of good collaboration. Cyberspace knows no national borders, Inglis warned, praising the potential of Swiss innovations. Florian Schütz, the Swiss government’s delegate for cybersecurity, looked back at developments in recent years. He said the Swiss government has made a lot of progress and is currently working on the second version of the national cyber risk protection strategy. Div. Alan Vuitel, head of the Armed Forces Cyber Command project, looked at cybersecurity from a military perspective. He spoke about the main challenges we are currently facing from a national security perspective.

SMEs in focus on the second day

On the second day, the event focused on cybersecurity among SMEs. Gerhard Andrey, entrepreneur and member of the National Council, spoke about how the aviation industry has been dealing with technical defects in complex systems for decades. This is achieved by means of precise, complete information transmission and transparency. He calls for this to become the standard in dealing with cybersecurity as well. In a panel organized by the insurance company Mobiliar, Susanne Maurer, Editor Corporate Communication, Andreas Hölzli, Head of Competence Center Cyber Risk, and Thomas Kühne, CIO, discussed a recent GFS study showing that one in three companies has already been the victim of a cyber attack. The greatest risk is and remains the employees themselves, whose awareness makes an important contribution to prevention.

Nicolas Mayencourt, CEO and founder of Dreamlab Technologies, and Prof. Dr. Marc K. Peter, Head of Centre for Digital Transformation at FHNW, presented the annual State of Swiss Cyberspace. The study conducted a full scan of Switzerland’s public attack surface and presented vulnerabilities by sector for the first time. The study found that the three sectors of education, healthcare and government have the most vulnerabilities.

Presentation of the ETH SCION project

ETH’s SCION project was presented to the public for the first time at the SCSD. The SCION secure Internet architecture provides increased security, availability and performance. The SCI-ED project enables secure and highly available communication between institutions of the ETH Domain and partners. The project was presented by Adrian Perrig, ETH / SCION, Martin Bosshardt, Anapaya, Florian Schütz, NCSC, August Benz, SBA, Urs Fischer, HIN, Stefan Berg, Swisscom, and Robert Wigger, Sunrise Impulse.

130 conferences, panels, expert talks

After last year’s edition was held entirely online due to the pandemic, they were even more pleased that Cyber Security Days could be held on-site again this year. Béat Kunz, CEO of SCSD, said, “Although we were very pleased with the virtual edition, it doesn’t replace the face-to-face contacts that are made, especially in the exhibition area.” More than 100 exhibitors had gathered at Forum Fribourg. During the two days, more than 130 conferences, panels, expert talks, best practices and round tables took place. In addition to the keynotes, the Expert Tracks offered many interesting, technical presentations and innovations on both days, and the two Best Practices Tracks were also a great success. This year, moreover, admission to the exhibition as well as the Best Practices Tracks (comprised 20 presentations per day) was free of charge for the first time. The Swiss Cyber Security Days 2023 will take place on March 29 and 30.