On 20 May 1987, Professor Bernhard Plattner of ETH Zurich entered “.ch” in the Domain Name System, marking the start of the Internet in Switzerland. Not long after that, on 22 October the same year, the SWITCH foundation was set up. SWITCH has achieved a lot in the past 30 years, not only establishing the Swiss Internet, but making .ch the safest address in Europe as well.
As Switzerland goes digital at a breathtaking pace, cybercrime has evolved into a highly professional and lucrative business. The best form of defence for the Internet in Switzerland has been the same for over 20 years: SWITCH-CERT, the country’s first computer emergency response team. CERTs specialise in identifying abuse and attacks and fixing security incidents.
It is no accident that .ch has become the safest address in Europe. No other country has security experts that take such a proactive and systematic approach to combating malware and phishing. In 2016 alone, SWITCH-CERT’s 14 experts removed malware and phishing from .ch websites in 1,900 cases in conjunction with authorities such as the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) and the Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI) as well as registrars, hosting providers and the website owners affected. This was done within 24 hours in 70% of cases. SWITCH-CERT provides those affected with precise instructions, ensuring that problems are solved much more quickly. Internet users are thus actively guarded against malware infections and attempted fraud. This protection is making .ch an increasingly unattractive target for cybercriminals compared with other domain endings.
Protecting the Swiss Internet is of vital importance. The Federal Council has declared .ch to be a critical infrastructure. High availability and stability are hugely important for the Swiss population, not least due to the fast pace of digitalisation in all areas of life.
SWITCH will continue to be responsible for the security and stability of .ch websites for at least the next five years. The foundation won OFCOM’s public tender to operate the registry in 2016, thanks in no small part to the fact that it had the best security concept.