Can Cybersecurity become one of Switzerland Main Competitive Advantages?

In this blog post, we argue how Swiss public authorities and industry associations could exploit a great opportunity of economic development and protection of Swiss democracy by becoming founding partners of a new international IT security standard setting and certification body - the Trustless Computing Certification Body - that aims to achieve radically-exceed the state-of-the-art in confidentiality and integrity of sensitive human communications and financial transactions, while concurrently solidly ensuring offline in-person legitimate lawful access.

Cybersecurity is a huge problem and a huge opportunity for Switzerland.

Spending in cybersecurity systems has grown 30 times over the last 10 years and in 2020 will be a whopping $220bn. Yet, the cost of cybercrime will account for $8 trillion from 2017 to 2022.  While there’s been a huge increase in cybersecurity spending by organizations, the cost of cybercrime is not reducing but exploding.

Cybercrime costs and concern keep mounting in regards to individual privacy, the security needs of new autonomous systems from voice assistants to self-driving cars, to drones, to industrial systems.

Cybersecurity has become the greatest threat to any company in the World” as IBM CEO recently said. "Cybersecurity as single greatest threat to global stability” said the new President of the EU, former German Minister of Defense, Ursula Von Der Leyen - hacking of democratic and social media systems is terribly hard to stop, detect and even attribute.

Turning a great problem into a great opportunity

The 2 largest Swiss private banking associations - Association of Swiss Asset and Wealth Management Banks and the Association of Swiss Private Banks - have made their main goal during their last annual meeting to turn cybersecurity in a competitive locational advantage.

The Swiss Digital Initiative, just launched, just in Geneva, and supported by the Swiss President and leaders of the largest Swiss corporations, has called for new labels, or certifications, to differentiate new higher Swiss standards. The new Swiss Federal Cybersecurity Delegate is calling for an increase in Switzerland digital sovereignty.

After the end of Swiss banking secrecy, and the recent multi-billion dollar fines of leading Swiss private banks for allegedly helping foreign citizens evade taxes, the Swiss ecosystem could and should seriously consider that – leveraging their unique expertise in communications security and privacy laws – the main business model of Switzerland of providing UHNWIs and firms unique confidentiality against other nations’ tax authorities” could be complemented by “providing UHNWIs and firms unique confidentiality and security against competitors, hackers, snooping governments”.

A May 2019 survey by the UBS Group found that cybercrime is the second high net-worth individuals, only after their “country politics”, while Switzerland “was the only region to cite data privacy as a top-three concern”.

Swiss private banks have successfully secured their server-side digital infrastructure with technology and processes that are often beyond military-grade.

Meanwhile, their client-side solutions have had to rely on the abysmal security of commercial browsers and more recently of mobile phones. Their solutions comprise a mix of mobile applications, hardware authentication devices and big data analysis, that ultimately rely on the trustworthiness of hardware, software and manufacturing processes that are terribly insecure and beyond their control. Even the “call back” process, ultimate safeguards against financial fraud, is very much in danger as a battle between voice cloning and voice print authentication technologies is being wage, with uncertain outcomes.

Such client-side solutions create high friction and inconvenience, while levels of security and privacy that far from what client demands. Such levels are also substantially lower than solutions provided by encroaching IT giants that leverage their exclusive access to secure technologies embedded in user devices to increasingly offer digital trust and financial services, and even less than leading open-source “secure messaging apps”.

The Trustless Computing Certification Body

Since 2015, our Trustless Computing Association, and more recently our startup spin-off, have been building new IT security standard setting and certification body, the Trustless Computing Certification Body ("TCCB"), underpinning an initial new compliant open-licensed patent-unencumbered target architecture, computing base and ecosystem.

TCCB is aimed at the wide availability of IT systems radically-exceed the state-of-the-art in confidentiality and integrity of sensitive human communications and transactions, while concurrently solidly ensuring offline in-person legitimate lawful access.

TCCB will ensure such levels of actual and perceived of trustworthiness via an uncompromising zero-trust approach down to CPU design and fabrication oversight, and a transparent solution to the need for legitimate lawful access - as validated by such a ultra-resilient and independent international certification body.

Together with World-Class public and private partners and advisors, we have lead wide R&D initiatives and academic research about Trustless Computing, and lead the creation of a wide global consensus around the Trustless Computing Paradigms through the Free and Safe in Cyberspace event series, that we held in Brussels, New York, Iguazu, Berlin and last in Geneva in May 2019 - with top public and private speakers.

Initially targeted to a wide user base of enterprises, private banks, high net worth individuals, and mission critical NGOs - that will carry compliant ultra-thin devices in custom leather wallets and phone cases - the Seevik Pod can then be embedded in the back of smartphones and public touch-screen kiosks, to bring meaningful digital freedom to all citizens, and sovereignty to our society.

Opportunity for Switzerland

We offer Swiss Federal Government Agencies the unique opportunity to be one of just 2 or 3 Nation-states to become Founding Partners of the TCCB, with a symbolic yearly monetary contribution and participation with 10% of the decision making in the TCCB governance.

Among our partners, since 2016, the Italian OCSI ISTICOM and their Austrian A-SIT and CIO participated as formal governance partners for the presentation "DS-01-2016 RIA" and "H2020 DS-01-2016 CSA" EU funding proposals for the creation of such new international IT security standards setting and certification body. Last week, we met for a second 1 to 1 meeting, this time in Bonn, with top management of the German BSI, the German entity setting the highest security standards for the German government.

Over the last 3 months, we have been engaging in EU and Switzerland at top levels with prospective private Founding Partners, in the form of entities and industry associations in the are private banking, enterprise, mobile and eID/postal sectors, local administrations, dual-use IT security providers, as well as IT giants like Samsung and Huawei.

Why is Switzerland an Ideal fit to lead in cybersecurity?

Our initiative has been realizing goals that are called for by the entire Swiss ecosystem.

Switzerland international neutrality, makes it the ideal location for a truly independent international certification organization for IT security that can be trusted not to be unduly pressured by powerful governments. As opposed to US, China and Israel, Switzerland does not have very strict export control laws and laws that are conducive to producing surreptitious access for law enforcement.

Swiss privacy laws, its historical leadership in secure communication systems of the richest and most powerful people in the World - with companies like Crypto AG and Kudelski - the concentration of cryptographic, crypto asset and blockchain expertise around the "crypto community" and ETH, and leading biometrics and quantum cryptography companies, provide a solid base of expertise to lead the World with new TCCB-complaint offerings.

Last but not least, the creation in Switzerland of such new certification body and complaint ecosystems, would be instrumental to very large opportunities of economic locational economic advantage for its banking sector and many emerging tech sectors where unprecedented IT security will be a key competitive advantage (sensitive AI, IoT, human computing etc.) as detailed in our planes for a Trustless Computing Cluster and Campus of Eastern Switzerland.

For more information reach out ot: rufo@trustlesscomputing.org

And download our TCCB Slide Deck and TCCB Strategic Plan from our home page.

Rufo Guerreschi