Globally connected to guarantee security

SWITCH stands for better security in the digital world. As an operator of critical infrastructures, it has been put to the test many times over the years, earning plenty of respect and trust in the process.

Text: Frank HerbergGuido Biland, published on 18.04.2017

Sneaky attacks on computers have long been an everyday occurrence in the digital world. Constant software updates and the flood of dubious e-mails are annoying, of course, but should they make us really worried about security?

.ch has a very good reputation, especially as regards security.

Philipp Metzger, Director of OFCOM

Let us look at the facts. While you are calmly reading this, others are hard at work thinking about vulnerabilities – talented people just like you, but with a very different business model. They are out to commit fraud, theft, blackmail and manipulation and deal in stolen goods. You could be their next target, and you might even have been targeted already without knowing it. Their methods are becoming ever more sophisticated. In some parts of the western world, organised cybercrime is now causing more financial damage than conventional crimes.

Cybercriminals know no rules

Is the threat situation getting worse? It is certainly becoming more complex. Two overlapping trends are challenging security personnel. Firstly, cybercriminals are increasingly professional and their attacks ever more precisely targeted. This is now regarded as a flourishing industry with only one rule, namely that there are no rules. Secondly, the digital revolution is affecting more and more areas of our lives. The spread of digitalisation is increasing our dependence on IT and the potential for attacks. The amount of damage that can be caused is rising exponentially.

Increased collaboration

What can we do about it? Working together is the only answer. SWITCH’s security experts have been collaborating nationally and internationally ever since the beginnings of the Internet. Its valuable know-how in terms of assessing cyber risks and defending against attacks has been acquired through its core tasks of operating the national academic network SWITCHlan and administering the top-level domains .ch and .li.

.ch: the most secure top-level domain in Europe

SWITCH’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) specialises in network and DNS infrastructure security. It owes its excellent reputation to pioneering achievements, clever cooperations, efficient processes, active links with international CERT organisations and years of collaborating successfully with banks. SWITCH can rightfully claim to have done a superb job for the Internet in Switzerland. In 2015, it received an award from the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR) for its ground-breaking work on security together with Germany’s DENIC and Austria’s A study by US firm Architelos in the same year concluded that .ch is the most secure top-level domain in Europe.

SWITCH enjoys more trust among the academic community, the authorities and the private sector than any other organisation – and it intends to make the most of this. More than ever, Switzerland needs a trusted centre of expertise that is well-versed in cooperation and equipped to face the security challenges that lie ahead. It aims to keep systematically improving its know-how and cooperate more with relevant federal bodies and Swiss businesses. Demand is growing.


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