Cyber Security in Switzerland

The Swiss Government calls for all stakeholders to review their procedures with a focus on Cyber Security and to create an in-depth PPP and to find efficient, feasible and tailor-made solutions.

Market overview

In 2004, the Swiss Government funded a government body called MELANI (Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance) to coordinate cyber security issues. As cyber threats became more and more serious, the Swiss Federal Council decided in 2011 to create a “National strategy for Switzerland’s protection against cyber risks”. This strategy was finalised in 2012 and aims to lay out a solid framework in which Switzerland are to address cyber risks more efficiently against the dramatic rise in cybercrime.

Federal experts have strengthened their crisis management plans and are asking for stakeholders to focus on the protection of vulnerable high-tech infrastructures and commercial assets. The potential risks for banks, large companies, local authorities, hospitals, energy and water infrastructures, rail and air transport are on the increase. This has resulted in a growing market for cyber security solutions, in critical infrastructure protection and commercial sectors.

Opportunities for potential UK suppliers within the Swiss cyber security market are wide and varied. Switzerland is vulnerable to cyber attacks because of its high-tech infrastructure and financial services while the danger is real but hard to foresee, according to the defence ministry. Attacks especially concern the theft of information, and the taking control or destruction of computer systems.

Key opportunities

Business Design (Legal, strategic, risk and Vulnerability Analysis)


  • Education and Training. The arrest of a rogue stock trader  at UBS in 2011, one of the world’s largest and most recognized Swiss banks, should serve as a wake-up call to all enterprises that many security threats actually come from inside their organization rather than from outside.

An even more recent data theft from the Swiss Intelligence Services in October 2012 is a clear sign that inside security is as (if not more) important to include in all cyber security business design

"Protecting the enterprise from those with the motive and privilege isn’t just a function of mission-critical servers–it should be incorporated in everything you do”.

  • Cloud Securing Data in the Cloud

  • Standardization of processes for communication (PPP)

Business Continuity (Defence, digital forensics Remediation, Post Incident Response)


  • Repeated targeted testing

  • Duplicating Data deciding which are critical assets and storage of them, high profile financial espionage,

  • Resilient business is as important as a resilient ICT System

  • Risk evaluation

Operational picture (Situational Awareness, Intelligence Exchange, Prediction Analysis)


  • Education and training. People are the weakest and strongest asset. Important to educate them in the benefits of effective security and modify behaviour.

  • Analytic and Data Mining

  • Metrics for Security Systems. Security metrics are needed to evaluate systems, with converged metrics being essential for bringing physical security into the overall security metrics.

Protection of Data (Data Encryption, Network)


  • Simulations of data loss as a training and prioritising tool

  • Enforcing data classification

  • Simple and transparent data protection without hindering user activities

  • Data Leakage – Information leaving the organisation unauthorised, uncontrolled and /or unwanted – has become one of the top subjects in information security. By the emerging complexity of technology and growing dispersal of data inside and outside an organisation, protection of valuable data has become increasingly difficult, irrespective of whether data is at rest, in process or in motion.

All of the above opportunities are available in the following sectors:

Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Large companies, Transport (Rail and Air), Electric Grid, Water Suppliers, Police, Military, Government, Cantons, Health Services.

If you have any questions on the opportunities above, contact the UKTI contacts named in this report. Business opportunities aimed specifically at UK companies are added daily to UKTI’s website. These leads are sourced by our staff overseas in British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, across all sectors and in over 100 markets

Latest export opportunities – Security

Latest export opportunities – Switzerland

Getting into the market

It is important to know the fact that, even though Switzerland geographically is part of Western Europe, it is not a member of the European Union (EU). Currently Switzerland establishes its own standards which, whilst not designed for the European Community, invariably meet its requirements.

Switzerland is a multi-language country with four official languages. Although English is widely spoken in the business world it is important to have any documentation available in both German and French (Italian is obviously recommended for business done in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part.).

If you wish to supply Swiss importers you must be prepared to satisfy the demands and requirements of their customers, provide evidence of flexibility and a high level of service. It is essential that products are supplied on schedule and in accordance with the contracted details. Ongoing communication and feedback between supplier and customer is considered important.

It is important that any UK defence / security company seeking to export equipment has the necessary export licence clearances from BIS Export Control Organisation. Companies should also check with the Ministry of Defence whether they require an F680 to market their equipment to Turkey. UKTI DSO will not provide support if a company does not have the necessary F680 clearances.

More about doing business in Switzerland


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists based overseas – or contact your local international trade team.

Emmeline Santana-Holmes, British Embassy Switzerland.

Tel: +41 (0)31 359 77 33


Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Security

Major Events

UKTI Cyber Security Seminar and Exhibition focussing on Financial Services

UKTI Switzerland would like to give British cyber security companies the opportunity to present their solutions and service to the Swiss Financial Services in Zurich.

Dates: 27th November 2013

For further information please contact:

Emmeline Santana, British Embassy Switzerland

Tel: +41 (0)31 359 77 33


Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Export Control

Sectors: Defence & Security
Countries: Switzerland
Export Action Plan