The fourth edition of the Swiss Cyber Security Days (SCSD), under the slogan "Cyber: the fifth dimension", highlighted the importance of the cyber dimension, and its clear visibility as a parallel digital form in the current Ukraine war. "Today, everyone is connected to everyone else, as if in a global village", said National Councillor and President of the SCSD Doris Fiala in her introduction.
The event also focused on the cyber risks facing Switzerland and how cybersecurity in the country still needs to catch-up. Based on the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) global cybersecurity ranking, Switzerland ranks 42nd, between Northern Macedonia and Ghana. "It is unfortunate that all neighbouring countries are doing better than Switzerland", said Doris Fiala, stressing the need for action.
Dreamlab Technologies was, as is now becoming a tradition, in charge of presenting the analysis of cyber threats in Switzerland. Nicolas Mayencourt, Dreamlab’s CEO and Head of the SCSD Programme Committee together with Marc K. Peter, Dreamlab’s COO and Director of the Competence Centre for Digital Transformation at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) unveiled the results of their annual study, which is based on a scan of Swiss cyberspace connections. Last year, 113,000 vulnerabilities were identified, compared to 106,000 this year. Despite this slight improvement, the figure is still far too high. Especially as the damage caused by cyber-attacks continues to grow ever more extensive, sometimes threatening the very existence of companies.
“Public awareness of cyber risks has certainly increased” said Nicolas Mayencourt, “nevertheless, we all have the feeling that it does not concern us and that it cannot affect us", referring to a recent study. "Let's stop being naïve", he said, repeating a message from previous years. He then added "We are all the problem. But we are also all the solution. And that's why: Let's make it happen".
Chris Inglis, the US Chief Cybersecurity Officer and personal adviser to US President Joe Biden, was a special guest at the plenary session. "Switzerland is number one in innovation", he praised, "You may not be number one in cyber at the moment, but I think you are changing that”. Cybersecurity is an international issue and requires a common response, he added.
When asked which cyber threat he considers the most important, Chris Inglis said: "What keeps me up at night is not primarily any of the threats we know about, although there are many. It's the deliberate lack of insight I see in so many people”.