"As a reaction to the sanctions, it is to be expected that Swiss authorities and financial institutions will be exposed and particularly targeted by attackers," the National Centre for Cyber Security (NCS) stated. "Companies that have business relations with suppliers or companies located in conflict zones should be extra careful".
So, is Switzerland sufficiently prepared?
The NCS says it is constantly analysing the situation in collaboration with the federal intelligence service and informing companies of developments.
Nicolas Mayencourt, CEO of Dreamlab Technologies believes Switzerland has underestimated the risks of cyber attacks. He shared his thoughts and opinions in a recent interview with Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), a Swiss broadcasting organisation.
“Switzerland isn’t prepared or equipped to withstand a cyberwar. This is not only a personal opinion. Currently, Switzerland stands at the 42nd place in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GI); ranking behind North Macedonia.” said Mayencourt.
Cyber-attacks are on the rise in Switzerland. The last 24 months have clearly seen an explosion in ransomware, such as the recent one at the University of Neuchâtel.
“Switzerland is a country that has money, making us extremely attractive to cybercriminals. Despite recommendations to refrain from paying ransoms, hacked companies are paying the requested amounts to recover their data which only emboldens cybercriminals by telling them that extortion works. They will continue coming back for more”.
The Swiss government has announced that they are planning to boost defences against cyber-attacks through a new Commission for Cybersecurity. “We need to do it and we need to do it fast” says Mayencourt. “Right now we have a small break, as everyone’s main focus is on the Russia-Ukraine war; but soon it will all start again and they will come back hard”.