A quantum leap in cybersecurity

The Swiss education, research and innovation community depends on secure data transfer. The new SCION architecture is now available to all universities via SWITCH’s network.

Text: Daniel Bertolo, published on 15.07.2021

SWITCH is making secure data transfer with the SCION internet architecture available to all Swiss universities. Developed at ETH Zurich, SCION offers universities and all of their network members improved security, availability and performance.

SCION technology offers senders and recipients of data full control over which parties are allowed to use the communications network and the path for transporting the data. This new solution offers effective protection to keep cybercriminals from accessing or intercepting data. Centres of research and innovation transfer enormous volumes of sensitive, even groundbreaking information over the data network. The new SCION offering from SWITCH universities can now benefit from improved security, availability and performance when transferring their data over the SWITCH network.

SCI-ED successfully completed

The recently completed SCI-ED project has proven the effectiveness of secure, high-availability data communication between the institutions of the ETH Domain. The two Federal Institutes of Technology ETH Zurich and EPFL, as well as their research institutes PSI, WSL, Empa, Eawag and CSCS, began testing the SCION architecture with various applications in late 2019. In addition to the regular internet connection, SWITCH also provided a SCION-based connection on their high-performance network.

Secure Swiss Finance Network

To further increase cybersecurity for the Swiss financial sector, the Swiss National Bank and SIX Group are simultaneously launching the new Secure Swiss Finance Network (SSFN) communication network, which is also based on SCION architecture developed at ETH Zurich. As a technology partner, SWITCH has contributed its many years of experience as a network operator of the Swiss universities and has helped to shape SSFN.

Poor security on the commercial internet

The internet was developed without native security mechanisms. Cyber criminals are exploiting vulnerabilities to such a degree that today cyber threats dominate the risk map. As a world leader in innovation, Switzerland has an education, research and innovation community that particularly benefits from secure, stable and powerful data communications.

Organisations interested in a SCION-based internet connection can contact the SWITCH network team directly.

About the author
Daniel   Bertolo

Daniel Bertolo

Daniel Bertolo studied Computer Science at the HSR in Rapperswil and joined SWITCH in 2007. He worked as a System Engineer on the Network Team and was responsible for the optical transport systems as well as SWITCHconnect. In March 2013, he became Team Leader of the Network Team.

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