Federal Council wants second national strategy for protection of Switzerland against cyber risks

Bern, 26.04.2017 - The implementation of the first national strategy for the protection of Switzerland against cyber risks (NCS) is in its final year. In view of the continually increasing threat due to cyber risks, the Federal Council has decided to commission the elaboration of a follow-up strategy. The strategy should take account of the current threat situation and the results of the present NCS effectiveness assessment. The Federal Council has extended the financing of existing NCS offices to continue the work.

Protection against cyber risks is immensely important as the growing number of incidents in Switzerland and abroad clearly shows. In addition to traditional cybercrime, the attacks are increasingly directed at states and critical infrastructure. Because of this and the fact that cyber attacks are also used for political purposes, threats to Switzerland due to cyber risks will also continue to increase in the future.

Successful implementation of NCS – threat remains

To respond to this threat, the Federal Council decided in 2012 to draw up the first national strategy for the protection of Switzerland against cyber risks (NCS) for the period 2012 to 2017. The implementation of this strategy will come to an end this year, as planned. The 2016 annual report on the implementation status of the NCS adopted by the Federal Council today shows that 15 of the 16 measures have already been successfully completed.

As the basis for the decision as to whether and how the NCS will be pursued in the future, the Federal Council commissioned an assessment of the implementation up to now and took note of this today. The results show that the strategic orientation of the NCS has been correctly selected and the decentralised but closely coordinated implementation of the NCS works well overall. Functional processes and structures have been successfully established in all areas and the required specialist knowledge has been built up, with the result that Switzerland is today better prepared for cyber risks than in 2012. At the same time, it is clear that only the foundation has been laid with the NCS and protection against cyber risks must be further developed. Reinforced defences due to the NCS measures are up against a more intensive threat situation and increasing networking.  

Mandate to elaborate a follow-up strategy 2018-2023

On the basis of the evaluation of the work done up to now and the analysis of the current threat situation, the Federal Council has instructed the Federal IT Steering Unit (FITSU) to draw up a follow-up strategy for the period from 2018 to 2023 in collaboration with the offices concerned and to submit this to the Federal Council by the end of the year. This strategy should use the structures and processes created to sustainably strengthen protection against cyber risks. The Federal Council has decided to extend the financing of the current 30 NCS offices to continue to expand protection against cyber risks in the various departments for an unlimited period of time.

Address for enquiries

Gisela Kipfer, Communications, Federal IT Steering Unit FITSU
Tel. 058 465 04 64, gisela.kipfer@isb.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance