SCSD 2024: Relocating to Bern – The Ideal Hub for Business, Politics, and Science

Regula Baumgartner, Senior Project Manager at F+W Communications, revealed during a press conference on February 7th for this year's Swiss Cyber Security Days (SCSD) that "1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6..." is the most commonly used password globally. This highlights the ongoing need for increased public awareness of security measures. Therefore, hosting a national event on this topic seems necessary.

After a two-year hiatus, the "new" SCSD is set to return on February 20th and 21st, this time in Bern. Despite a few changes, the event remains committed to its mission of raising public awareness of cybersecurity issues.

Alec von Graffenried, Mayor of Bern, highlighted the constant cyber threats faced by Bern: "The question is not whether we will be attacked, but when the first attack will be successful. Last year, the city of Bern was attacked 23 million times. Our IT infrastructure is actually in defense mode constantly."

Christoph Ammann, Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Energy, and the Environment and Councilor of the Canton of Bern, stated that according to an estimate from the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany, cybercrime causes damage equivalent to about 5% of the gross domestic product annually. When translated to Switzerland, this amounts to almost 40 billion Swiss francs, as of 2022.

To address these challenges, the organisers stress the importance of collaboration and networking, with Bern serving as an ideal hub for business, politics, and science. This year’s theme “Shaping Cyber Resilience” underscores the need to enhance resilience against cyber threats. Doris Fiala, President of the Swiss Cyber Security Days, emphasised that while it's challenging to completely prevent cybercrime, efforts can be made to enhance resilience against such threats. She expressed confidence that the participation of prominent speakers would significantly raise awareness about cybersecurity concerns. Here below a few highlights:

  • Georgii Dubynskyi, Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation of Ukraine, will speak about government responsiveness and services for the population during wartime.
  • Christian-Marc Lifländer, Head of NATO Cyber Defense Section, and Audrey Tang, Minister of Digital Affairs of Taiwan, will also address cyberspace in warfare.
  • Robert Bohls, Section Chief Cyber Division at the FBI, will discuss challenges and how emerging technologies will influence policing and security in the future.
  • Tim Willis, Head of Project Zero at Google, will show how his team uncovers zero-day vulnerabilities.
  • Elisa Torres, CEO and founder of Girls in Quantum, will highlight the benefits and risks of quantum computers.
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, Head of ETH Zurich Space, will explain why satellites are not safe from cyberattacks.

Efforts have been made to encourage women's participation in the event, addressing the underrepresentation of women in cybersecurity. "I personally reached out to women in business and associations, both nationally and internationally," stated Doris Fiala. "We've made every effort to encourage women to attend." However, despite these efforts, challenges persist due to the limited presence of women in technical fields, compounded by variations in educational policies among Swiss cantons. Unlike in other countries where the situation may be different, the issue often begins in schools, highlighting the need for stronger promotion of STEM subjects for girls. Yet, this promotion is regulated at the cantonal level, leading to inconsistencies across different regions. "Federalism may be one of our strengths," says Fiala. "But in certain areas, it is also a weakness."

The Swiss Cyber Security Days event anticipates significant attendance, offering varied ticket prices including options for students and those interested in accessing all stages and exhibitions. The overarching goal of the event is to foster collaboration, raise awareness, and enhance cybersecurity resilience not only in Switzerland but also on a broader scale.

Read the full article (German only): https://www.netzwoche.ch/news/2024-02-07/warum-die-neuen-swiss-cyber-security-days-nach-bern-ziehen

SCSD 2024: Relocating to Bern – The Ideal Hub for Business, Politics, and Science

All news articles