MIL-OSI Translation: SMEs: how to successfully approach the theme of cybersecurity

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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: Switzerland – Department of Foreign Affairs in French

Federal Office for Cybersecurity

Bern, 11.06.2024 – To help SMEs enter the world of cybersecurity, the ITSec4KMU association organized an awareness day in collaboration with the Federal Office for Cybersecurity (OFCS). The two organizations joined forces to organize this free event and thus allow SMEs to familiarize themselves with this important topic. More than a hundred members of the private economy having responded, the Cinématte in Bern was sold out. It is planned to repeat the experience in other regions of Switzerland.

Cyberattacks remain an abstract and difficult to imagine danger for many SMEs, which are often insufficiently protected. However, simple measures can already enable a company to achieve a good level of protection. This message was reflected in the brief welcome speech by Manuel Suter, deputy director of the OFCS, and René Hüsler, founding member of the ITSec4KMU association. Both experts stressed that it was crucial for SMEs to be interested in the topic of cybersecurity and that it was already possible to have minimal protection against cyberattacks through simple measures that could be quickly put in place.

From risk management to implementing protective measures

In his presentation, Dominique Trachsel, head of the Awareness domain within the OFCS, presented the current state of the threat and the attack vectors relevant to SMEs before advising those present to take cybersecurity into account in their business. Indeed, the scale of investments in cybersecurity measures depends on each person’s risk appetite. Andreas Grünert, Head of Technology and Security Engineering at the OFCS, showed what concrete protection measures against cyberattacks look like. In addition, it indicated which security standards were relevant for SMEs and explained how to implement them easily.

External support for cybersecurity

Nicolas Germiquet, from the ITSec4KMU association, explained the points that SMEs wishing to use external help for their cybersecurity should pay attention to so that the collaboration with the IT service provider is a success. He highlighted the importance of certificates, which allow providers to attest to their skills, and mentioned the existence of the register of certified IT providers, which is part of the ITSec4KMU platform.

Many Swiss SMEs already use cloud services from different providers to implement their digitalization projects. Klaus Gribi, Head of Analysis at OFCS, explained the procedure and some essential security measures so that SMEs can use cloud computing securely. Additionally, he presented cloud security frameworks that can be employed by SMEs for free.

At the end of the event, those present had the opportunity to delve deeper into one of the two thematic areas: the importance of cybersecurity certifications for SMEs and cyber insurance. Experienced experts were on hand for these two subjects, with Christophe Hauert from the Cyber-Safe label and René Buff from the Swiss Insurance Association respectively.

Continuation of the demonstration in other regions of Switzerland

As demonstrated by the high level of interest, the event provided welcome support for SMEs to manage cyber threats more actively. It is planned to repeat the experience in other regions of Switzerland.

About the ITSec4KMU association: ITSec4KMU is an information platform for SMEs that offers useful advice on cybersecurity and IT security. For example, intelligence and checklists help businesses best prepare for possible cyberattacks. Alongside news and event announcements, the platform provides an overview of IT providers that SMEs can turn to in case of questions or emergency situations. It only provides information and does not itself offer any services to SMEs. The canton of Zug supports ITSec4KMU with around 1.4 million francs until 2026 as part of the Zug program. The association’s partners include the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences.

About the OFCS: The OFCS is the competence center of the Confederation in matters of cybersecurity and, therefore, the primary contact for economic circles, administration, training establishments and the population in this area . Responsible for the coordinated implementation of the national cyber strategy, his main task is to improve Switzerland’s security in cyberspace. To this end, it raises awareness among the general public about cyber threats and alerts them in the event of cyber attacks.

Address for sending questions

OFCS communication: 41 58 465 53

ITSec4KMU Communication:


Federal Office for Cybersecurity

General Secretariat of the DDPS

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI