What are the Swiss Cyber Security Days and why do they matter?

Juliana Crema

A civil society perspective

What are the Swiss Cyber Security Days?

The Swiss Cyber Security Days, or SCSD for short, is an annual event where Swiss cyber experts and those from related fields come together to discuss new ideas and innovations and connect the Swiss ecosystem with the international community. It is an especially important forum to discuss the state of Swiss cybersecurity, innovations, trends and solutions. By bringing together these different communities, the SCSD aims to transfer knowledge between fields, an essential part of building capacity and bridging the divides that currently exist in the cyber security field.

What role does civil society have in the SCSD?

Traditionally, the SCSD have been geared towards industry and private sector actors. However, the CyberPeace Institute is pleased to join the conversation to bring a civil society-focused perspective to the forefront. As one of the few civil society actors who will present at the SCSD, our aim is to bring a  human-centric focus to the debate. 

It is quite easy for cyber and technology discussions to focus on the economic impact of cyber threats and cyberattacks which tends to remove the relatability from the everyday person and fails to highlight that the security and safety of individuals is the key objective of resilience and cybersecurity. The CyberPeace Institute’s ambition is to contribute to changing the dialogue about cybersecurity at this event and beyond. 

What will the CyberPeace Institute bring to the discussions?

The Institute’s focus will be on the impact of cyberattacks against the healthcare sector, particularly how these attacks impact human security and people’s ability to access and use critical infrastructure services. For example, attacks on hospitals have a direct impact upon the ability to deliver patient care. Whether you are scheduled for an operation, going in for a check up, or need to be rushed to the ER, if a hospital’s systems are down then healthcare practitioners are not able to provide you with the healthcare needed. 

The Institute has worked to protect the healthcare sector for over two years through its Cyber4Healthcare programme. As a part of this program, the Institute developed a publicly available database of cyberattacks in an effort to enhance transparency and access to information, the Cyber Incident Tracer #HEALTH. This platform bridges the current information gap on cyberattacks on healthcare and their impact on people. For example, the platform shows that since January 2022, there have been at least 29 incidents against the healthcare sector across 15 countries, signifying a shift away from the US-focus of attacks evidenced in 2021 and an increase of attacks in Europe. 

The reality is that not a month goes by without a cyberattack on a healthcare organization somewhere in the world. It is important to understand the true scale and scope of the problem, measure the harm that these attacks cause to individuals, communities and society, and develop appropriate responses to reduce the threat. This is a subject the Institute will be highlighting during its participation.

The CyberPeace Institute is pleased to actively participate in this ecosystem, and to contribute its knowledge and expertise to the very timely discussions and actions happening in and around Switzerland and the SCSD.

Juliana Crema is a Research Associate at the CyberPeace Institute.

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