HomeNews & EventsExpert NoteCan Switzerland take a leading role in global cyber security?

Can Switzerland take a leading role in global cyber security?

Neutrality, political stability and legal certainty - Switzerland guarantees all this. The IT company ELCA, with its headquarters in Lausanne and branches in Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Basel, is convinced: Switzerland meets all the requirements to assert itself as a global centre for cyber security.


Published in the Tages-Anzeiger Special Edition 09/22 Focus-Security, Text: Vanessa Bulliard

Ninth in its cheese production and watchmaking industry, Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. The country is the world's leading centre for safe, reputable and reliable money and insurance transactions. In general, the country is a world leader in terms of security. Assets from all over the world are located in Switzerland. There is a great deal of trust in the local legal system and its stable economy. And what is the situation with regard to global cyber security? ELCA Informatik, a Swiss IT company based in Lausanne with over 50 years of experience, is committed to improving cyber security in Switzerland. The subsidiary ELCA Security focuses on cyber security and is convinced that Helvetia can take on a leading role in global cyber security.

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Switzerland: the perfect location

The world is in the grip of digital transformation. This transformation poses dangers, whereby Switzerland represents a safe haven and its political stability is also reflected in the digital transformation. This proves to be an advantage. The "Swiss Made" label is a guarantee for security solutions. The trust placed in Switzerland is often greater than in the American or other European markets. There is every reason to use these advantages to build up and strengthen the market for cyber security.

Cost item

In terms of advisory services and service costs, Switzerland is more expensive than most other countries. However, the quality and independence of Swiss services make the difference. This asset is hard to find. For companies today, strengthening their own cybersecurity is of the utmost urgency. And it is also an important and worthwhile investment in the future. Ignoring cyber security needs costs companies significantly more in the event of successful attacks. Prevention and constant controls create security and guarantee it in the long term.


Geneva as the future capital for cybersecurity

Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith already identified Switzerland's potential. For several years, he has been campaigning for a "Digital Geneva Convention". This should serve to regulate coexistence in the digital space. In addition, Smith founded the "CyberPeace Institute" in 2019. The Geneva organization sets advocates for the rights and security of people in the digital world. In doing so, it works together with companies worldwide - including ELCA Informatik AG and its experts. The fact that all important UN organisations and countless non-governmental organizations have their headquarters in Geneva also speaks in favour of Switzerland as a location.

The Swiss solution Senthorus

With the establishment of the joint venture "Senthorus", based in Geneva, ELCA Security ensures that the combined competences and services will be available to the need not shy away from worldwide comparisons. ELCA works together with the leading cyber defence provider BlueVoyant. Quality and professional competence, complemented by internationally proven and modern cyber solutions. The aim is to provide local The aim is to offer companies a customised service and thus benefit from the advantages of Switzerland as a business location. In view of the increasing number of cyberattacks, this is an important offer for companies and for Switzerland as a business location.

ELCA is an established IT provider in Switzerland. Fabrice Guye, Head of Strategy at ELCASecurity and General Manager of Senthorus, explains the importance of proximity and independence in cyber security in an interview with "Fokus".

Fabrice Guye, ELCASecurity's goal is cybersecurity in Switzerland. What does it mean for companies to strengthen their own cybersecurity?

Strengthening cyber security means reducing the risk of cyberattacks. Companies must protect themselves. It is not only monetary assets that are worth protecting, but also the company's reputation. In addition, employees' intellectual property can also be at risk. The times when buying a market-leading security solution was enough are over.


What basic cyber security measures should companies take?

First of all, companies need to be aware of their own risks in order to focus on the right area. This is the only way to make decisions on how and where to invest. Furthermore, companies need to know their infrastructure and assets. This requires up-to-value asset management, two-factor authentication and data encryption. And of course, they need to raise awareness with their employees and train them in cybersecurity.


What is the target of hackers in a cyber attack on companies?

Often, money is the target. On the one hand, they achieve this either directly with a ransom demand after controlling part or all of a company's digital environment or stealing data. On the other hand, hackers sometimes steal information for later use. There are also cases of cybercriminals attacking human lives by using employees' data for direct attack. A few years ago, hackers even broke into hospitals. As a result, people died. Fortunately, such cases are rare.


What is the biggest weakness of companies?

The usual answer would be : People. But it also depends on the size and the field of activity of a company. It goes without saying that people and a lack of safety awareness awareness is part of the equation. However, many other factors play into it, such as blind trust in third-party services and unsecured data exchange. Another risk is not knowing one's own vulnerabilities and not being able to to know what needs to be protected in the first place.


ELCA recently formed the joint venture Senthorus with the cyber defence company BlueVoyant. Why was this partnership formed?

The idea of creating «Senthorus» was to have the best technology, operate it in Switzerland, and rely on local and IT competencies and business knowledge. So we chose to collaborate with BlueVoyant which is world renowned for its management and services which brings us modern technology, procedures and experiences. 


What does the partnership mean for ELCASecurity?

This partnership allows ELCASecurity to strengthen further and cover the full range of customer needs. ELCASecurity already has consulting services and established solutions ranging from strategy, access management and management including trustID our own eID and MFA solution. Senthorus completes our offer with a managed security service offering.  


Why was Senthorus founded?

We want to protect Swiss companies against cyberattacks. Senthorus offers international and local companies modern technology, guaranteed control over their own data, a Swiss location and a wide range of services. We cover the areas of anticipation, protection and defence as well as remediation, making the entire expertise of the ELCA Group available.


The new Security Operations Center (SOC) is located in Switzerland. How do companies benefit from the proximity?

We have two SOCs in Switzerland; the first is already operational, while the second, under construction, will be operational before the end of the year The benefits of having a local SOC are multiple; the first thing is operating in Switzerland with all the guarantees this brings. Then having the possibility visit our installations or having direct contact to customers is crucial.

Imagine if the nearest of fire stations was 2000 km away. how reassured would you be? Absolutely not. So, it was natural for us to be close to our customers in Switzerland.


Why is it advantageous for company data to remain in Switzerland and not be traded internationally?

Switzerland brings with it sovereignty and security. However, in addition to the storage location, data ownership is elementary. Transparency is of great importance here. Senthorus guarantees companies a complete overview of activities and that they remain owners of their data at all times.


ELCA or ELCASecurity is a private company. What role does independence play here?

Independence is essential in the consulting business. It guarantees that our services and activities will always bring the best answer to the needs or requests of our customers. 

Contact our expert

Fabrice GUYE

Head of Business Line at ELCA Security

Meet  Fabrice GUYE, our Head of Business Line at ELCA Security. Contact Fabrice to discuss how he can help propel your cybersecurity initiatives forward.