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Cyber risks  Switzerland joins cyber defence unit in Estonia

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Cyber security issues are a growing challenge for companies and nations.

(Keystone)

Switzerland is becoming a member of the Cyber Attack Defense Centreexternal link (CCDCOE) in Tallinn, Estonia. This will give Swiss authorities access to the knowledge and information as well as research and training activities of the centre. 

Participation will help to implement the national strategy to protect Switzerland against cyber risks, the Federal Council (executive body) said on Wednesday, explaining its decision. In addition, international cooperation in combating cyber risks will be strengthened. 

Switzerland will send one or two civilian or military experts to Estonia for training. The cost will be around CHF25,000 ($24,745) per person. 

The defence centre is accredited by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In the view of the Federal Council, participation in the CCDCOE does not affect Swiss neutrality. The CCDCOE is not integrated into the NATO command structure and has no operational mandate. In addition, Switzerland would have no further rights or obligations under international law beyond its accession. 

Switzerland is a so-called "contributing nation". Full membership is reserved for NATO member countries. Switzerland has participated twice in the annual exercise since its foundation in 2008. 

Earlier this year, Switzerland’s army announced it was boosting its cybersecurity measures in response to increasing attacks on its computer systems. 

Swiss universities are also contributing to the fight with Switzerland’s top federal technology institutes launching a cybersecurity master's degree this year. 

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