Swiss Federal Council decides to create a new State Secretariat for Cyber Security

The conflict in Ukraine demonstrates that, in addition to military means, other forms of hybrid warfare are also employed in contemporary conflicts. These include disinformation and influence, cyber-attacks, the application of pressure and blackmail, and covert operations. Companies are not spared from this but are even regular targets of such acts.  According to the Swiss Federal Council, it is crucial in this context not to restrict security policy to defense policy and to strengthen the civilian sector within the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (DDPS).

Considering the deteriorating threat situation, the Federal Council decided on 19 April 2023 to strengthen the civilian security sector within the DDPS. According to a press release, it is establishing a new State Secretariat within the DDPS for this purpose. Within the DDPS, the new State Secretariat shall be tasked with developing and coordinating strategic principles for the overall advancement of Swiss security policy. The Federal Council has instructed the DDPS to draft the legal foundations by the end of 2024. It is expected that the new State Secretariat will develop and coordinate an integrated security policy as of 1 January 2024.

Additionally, the Federal Council has determined the budget for the new Federal Cyber Office. This will originate from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and be transferred from the Finance Department, where it is currently located, to the DDPS. Already now, the NCSC is the first point of contact for Swiss compagnies confronted with cyber risks. This function will remain with the new State Secretariat for Cybersecurity.

In addition, the new State Secretariat will consolidate duties currently carried out by the Security Policy Division of the General Secretariat and other offices within the DDPS. Therefore, it will be responsible for coordinating security policy activities within DDPS. In addition, it shall analyze the national and international security situation in conjunction with the intelligence service, the Federal Office of Police fedpol, and the relevant offices of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. According to the Federal Council, the division of responsibilities between the various federal departments and the Confederation and cantons remains unchanged.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025