Defence minister inaugurates ‘Cyber Defence Campus’ in Zurich

Swiss defence Minister Viola Amherd inaugurated a new centre aimed at fostering cooperation between the army, academics, industry and hackers in the area of cyber security.

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Located in the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) the goal is to tap into the talent at institutions such as the Zurich Information Security & Privacy Center (ZISC) or the Zurich Innovation Park. The main focus of the partnership will be to encourage the transfer of technologies and innovations, with priority to cyber defence technologies, information security, data science and artificial intelligence.

"The protection and security of cyberspace have become the major aspects and objectives of an effective security policy focused on current threats," said Federal Councillor Amherd in her inauguration speech on Thursday.

One of the first events organised by the Cyber Defence Campus will be a conference on aviation cyber security on November 19 and 20. The event will focus on the vulnerability of aviation infrastructure to malicious attacks.

In January, the government approved a new law on military cyber defence (effective from March 1), under which the army will get a special ad hoc cybersecurity unit. This will consist of between 100 and 150 professional IT experts and 400-600 serving soldiers. The new measures come after a defence ministry internal audit said in 2017 that the Swiss military was poorly equipped to deal with persistent, long-term cyber-attacks.


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