The international Domain pulse conference was held in Winterthur on Monday and Tuesday under the heading of ‘Critical Internet infrastructure: maintaining sovereignty and protecting against abuse’. This year’s two-day event was organised by SWITCH, the registry for .ch domain names.
Domain pulse, the annual domain conference for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, returned to Switzerland on 6 and 7 February 2023. The conference revolved around the question of how politicians and operator organisations can maintain sovereignty over the Internet, protect it from attacks and make it more resilient to failure in times of international conflict. Around 300 participants attended presentations and panel discussions with national and international experts – both from within and outside the Internet industry.
The direct dialogue with national and international experts helps encourage the secure and stable operation of the Internet. This is because experience, expert opinions and solutions provide important input for the work and further development of SWITCH – to the benefit of the security and stability of the Internet in Switzerland. ‘.ch’ is one of our country’s critical infrastructures. SWITCH therefore holds special responsibility when it comes to operating this part of the global Internet in a secure and stable way.
‘In Switzerland, we take a pragmatic approach to preparing for crises. The organisations operating critical infrastructures know each other and maintain an established collaboration,’ says Urs Eppenberger, Head of Registry & Collaboration at SWITCH.
The talks explored issues such as the failure of critical infrastructure (e.g. energy supply infrastructure), the significance of international conflicts, cyber-attacks and the precautions that need to be taken in such situations. The speakers included Marc Elsberg, bestselling author of Blackout, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Internet governance expert, and Hans-Peter Käser, Project Manager for National Cyber Strategy at the Federal Office for National Economic Supply. It was clear from their presentations that the Internet’s decentralised set-up is proving its worth, making the infrastructure particularly resistant to attacks.
The registries of the national domain extensions .de for Germany (DENIC eG), .at for Austria (Nic.at) and .ch for Switzerland (SWITCH) organise the Domain pulse conference jointly and alternately. The next Domain pulse will take place in Vienna in February 2024.