Digitisation and the increasing dependence on information and communications technologies that comes with it make Switzerland increasingly vulnerable to outages, disruptions and the misuse of these technologies. Security measures must be introduced to ensure independence and security in the face of the new risks that are emerging in cyberspace. This is the only way to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from digitisation.

Collaboration is pivotal for successful cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the designation for the protection of internet-related systems from cyberattacks. These include hardware, software and data. The number of dangerous, successful and highly-complex cyberattacks is on the rise around the world; they are the new reality and target the authorities, industry and private individuals. There are no physical national borders that can be protected in cyberspace. Due to interconnection and digitisation, Switzerland is not a protected island when it comes to the internet. Also, cyber criminals and third countries do not show any regard for Switzerland’s neutrality in espionage conducted against critical infrastructures.

Swiss banks today are hard pressed to single-handedly defend themselves for an extended period of time. The banks have recognised this problem and have in recent years significantly improved the dialogue as well as collaboration within Switzerland. Further to this, the National strategy for the protection of Switzerland against cyber risks (NCS contains recommended measures that will help to mitigate problems at the national level.

Implementation of cybersecurity in Switzerland

The SBA has drafted a strategy paper “Cybersecurity” and is striving for the joint development of measures together with the federal government, in coordination with the latter’s NCS 2018-2022. From the perspective of the banks, the first priorities are the establishment of a Cyber Competence Center (CCC), the creation of a crisis organisation and an awareness-raising campaign. Further to this, it should be ensured that sufficient cybersecurity specialists are trained. Collaboration within the financial industry and with the authorities, but also coordination in the military and civil spheres, should be further expanded. In this area, it is particularly important to foster collaboration among banks and to pool critical resources.