Opinions
25.03.2021

Cyber security: raised threat level during the pandemic

Pandemic restrictions meant that this year’s Swiss Cyber Security Days (SCSD), the third in the series, had to be held online. We asked CEO Béat Kunz to recall his personal highlights.
Béat Kunz, CEO SCSD

How has the threat level changed during the pandemic? Does working from home pose a greater risk of cyber attacks? What are currently the most important strategic steps that Switzerland should take?

The risk of cyber attacks has obviously grown as a result of the pandemic. Humans are still the weakest link in the security chain. Above all, working from home presents more challenges for cyber security. The use of personal devices while working from home is not ideal for corporate networks. Switzerland needs to raise public awareness of the potential threats. Cyber security will become increasingly important. Our entire national infrastructure is ultimately exposed to these security risks as well.

What role do banks play in all this?

Customers obviously want to be sure that e-banking is secure. Banks should – indeed must – protect and arm themselves accordingly. In such an environment, cyber security is a business-critical factor.

SCSD 2021 was conducted exclusively online for the first time. On a scale from 1 to 10, how successful would you say this year’s conference has been, and why?

As organisers of the event, we are self-critical (winks), so we would never give ourselves a score of 10. But we can be quite happy with the first purely ‘virtual’ conference: the keynotes were translated simultaneously into three languages and there were 90 or so contributions in total. Even so, we are naturally continuing to develop and improve that event.

What were your three personal highlights of SCSD 2021?

The SME panel discussion was one of them. It showed that cyber security has to be an absolute priority for SMEs, and there is still a fair bit of ground to make up. I also found the WEF presentation very interesting, as well as the SPI panel discussion plus, of course, the final session with Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer. And let’s not forget the fascinating Expert Tracks, which had a rather more technical flavour. There were a few more besides, but you can see how hard it is to choose individual highlights.

What would you definitely do differently for SCSD 2022?

Our team will take time to analyse the options and then implement them. It would be great if we could hold some events in the flesh, but the pandemic has made us all wary of forecasts.

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Authors

Michaela Reimann
Former Head of Public & Media Relations
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