A secure network for
a secure Switzerland
Whatever its many benefits, digitisation in the virtual world also has a darker side. It harbours many dangers, many of which we may be unaware of – or even inadvertently exacerbate. To ensure that the net stays a place where curiosity doesn't cause harm to anyone, we are investing heavily in the security of our infrastructure.
Spam is the common term for unsolicited e-mails. Figures show that spam accounts for almost half of global e-mail traffic, placing a significant strain on networks. Unsolicited advertising represents only a small portion of this, however. Increasingly, spam is also being used by criminals with malicious intent.
Phishing e-mails are used by fraudsters masquerading as genuine contacts to try and trick users into disclosing sensitive data that will provide access to the victim’s online accounts. These often fake order confirmations, refunds or account blocking notifications with links to trick websites designed to capture the victim’s login details.
Hacking is the term given to the unauthorised access of IT infrastructures –individual computers or entire networks. In most cases, the attackers are intent on espionage – the illegal acquisition of information – or in less serious cases, to highlight security gaps.
A computer virus is a self-replicating computer program that is able to make changes to hardware, operating systems or other software. It tends to be used as a general term for malware such as worms or Trojan horses.
Trojans are malicious computer programs that are used to hack into a computer and then perform actions that tend to be unnoticed by the user, such as key logging (recording every keystroke made by the user).They are often disguised as useful programs.
Denial of Service (DoS) attacks flood website servers in particular with page view requests, leaving legitimate traffic unable to get through. If multiple compromised systems are used for such an attack, this is referred to as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack
This is one of the most insidious forms of cyber crime: it refers to the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging sensitive information. An example would be a fake IT engineer who calls to assist with a phony computer problem in order to gain access to the victim’s computer.
Counterfeit or undelivered goods are a typical example of this type of fraud. However, non-existent holiday homes and payment fraud are also popular hoaxes. It is not unusual for apparently secure payment methods, such as PayPal, to be hijacked for fraudulent purposes either. Serious providers and credit card companies do, however, take robust measures to combat this and keep users safe.
Crimes that damage reputation fall into this category, such as cyberbullying and trolling, in addition to sexual offences, including the grooming of children and young people. This risk is inherent in social platforms, online chat rooms and discussion forums, for example.
Trojans, viruses, hacking, Denial of Service attacks: there are multiple players in the cyberwar, from web vandals and terrorists to intelligence services and from amateurs to organised crime organisations. They are all trying to assert their own interests in the anonymous Internet, and so are endangering the most important infrastructure in the digitised world: the net.
Philippe Vuilleumier, Head of Group Security
Awareness and information are key to staying safe online. Clear, easy-to-follow rules of conduct and organisational measures are also important, not to mention a fail-safe physical security concept using redundant systems and fit-for-purpose safeguards.
To remain continuously on the alert, as well as state-of-the-art hardware and software systems, such as firewalls or honeynets, you also need sophisticated threat intelligence to detect and identify existing or emerging menaces or hazards an early stage. Cooperation on a national and international level and excellent intuition are also essential.
Should an attack occur, the response must be swift and efficient. The compromised systems must be isolated, secured and, if necessary, taken offline. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to identify the perpetrators or bring them to justice.
Select, check and fix: our security products ensure comprehensive protection for all your devices connected to the Internet.
The Application Programming Interface enables programs to directly exchange data (machine to machine) using a common language.
Advanced Persistent Threat is a complex, targeted and effective attack on critical IT infrastructures and confidential data of companies that are potential victims on account of their technological advantage. Companies can also be targeted as a springboard to the actual victims.
Describes all static and dynamic aspects of a company’s IT. This including its infrastructure and the management thereof (configuration and capacity planning, load distribution, data backup, availability, stability, disaster response planning etc.).It also encompasses functional aspects such as the interfaces required to allow IT support for processes.
Software back doors are used to gain access to a computer by circumnavigating its access protection.
Generally understood to refer to the techniques for collecting and evaluating loosely structured mass data.
A network of a large number of compromised computers that are controlled centrally by a botmaster.
Bring your own Device refers to the concept of integrating private mobile devices with a company's network.
Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology is an internationally recognised framework for IT governance that breaks down IT tasks into processes and control objectives. COBIT primarily defines what has to be implemented and not how the requirements should be met.
In business economics, continuity management refers to the development of strategies, plans and actions to protect the activities or processes that are crucial to a company’s survival or to permit alternative workflows.
The Computer Security Incident Response Team describes a group of security experts who act as coordinators in the event of specific IT security incidents or focus on computer security in general, warn about security loopholes and propose solutions, and analyse malware.
Common Vulnerability Scoring System
An open industry standard for assessing the severity of potential or actual security loopholes in IT systems.
Website defacement is a form of vandalism in which the content of a website is changed by hackers.
Denial of Service (DoS)
A large number of requests causes a system to crash.
A DoS attack is launched simultaneously by several distributed systems (e.g. a botnet). It is no longer possible to simply block the attacker.
Program, code or a series of commands used to take advantage of vulnerabilities in software.
A general term for techniques that make it harder or impossible to abuse system vulnerabilities.
This describes the control and management system of a company or division.
Global Positioning System A global satellite navigation system used in positioning and precision timekeeping.
A honeynet is a system or network that is set up with intentional vulnerabilities; its purpose is to invite attack, so that an attacker's activities and methods can be studied. The information gained can then be used to protect real networks.
Identity and Access Management typically refers to software components used to manage identities and associated system access rights.
Industry Control System For more specific information, see SCADA.
Information and Communication Technology.
This comprises all buildings, communications services (network), machines and software provided at an underlying level (infra is Latin for “below”) for the purpose of information processing.
The Information Security Forum (ISF) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a membership comprising many of the world’s leading companies. It focuses on the principles and concepts of IT security and provides tools
This international standard, “Information technology – Security techniques – Information security management systems – Requirements” in full, specifies the requirements for establishing, introducing, operating, monitoring, maintaining and continually improving a documented information security management system, while taking the IT risks in a company into account.
IT Security Level Basic is a framework that describes at a technical level how an object, for example, must be configured securely.
The deliberate disruption of radio communications.
Hidden software that can disrupt or shut down the functioning of a system when given the command from afar.
In business economics, Key Performance Indicators are ratios used to measure or determine the progress or degree of fulfilment of an organisation’s key objectives or critical success factors.
Common IT security indicator, used in the same way as KPIs in business economics.
Generally used in IT to refer to the (automatic) saving of process data or data changes in log files.
Software that performs damaging, unwanted functions.
Criminals convince people to take money from “clients” and, after having taken their cut, pass it on to a money transfer service. Money mules believe they are working for a legitimate organisation.
A generic term for all types of immediate systematic recording (logging), observation or surveillance of an event or process by means of technical resources or other observation systems.
Open Source Intelligence: the gathering of information exclusively from sources that are accessible to the public.
Security update: programming code that replaces defective software to eliminate security gaps.
Refers to tricking victims into disclosing sensitive data (using e-mails containing fake instructions).
An internal guideline documented formally by a company and for which management is responsible. In IT, policies can also be seen as framework provisions for permissions and prohibitions.
A special type of trojan that encrypts specific data or an entire computer system, blocking access until a sum of money is paid.
Technique for analysing and presenting responsibilities in a company. The acronym is derived from the terms Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.
Representational State Transfer is a programming paradigm for distributed systems, specifically web services and machine-to-machine communication.
Comprises all measures for the systematic identification, analysis, evaluation, monitoring and control of risks.
Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition systems for monitoring and controlling technical processes (industrial processes for example).
Software Defined Radio: universal high-frequency emitter and receiver, which uses software to process signals that the user can adapt to different protocols and applications.
Security Information & Event Management refers to a software or service that analyses security warnings from a network’s hardware and software components in real time.
Intelligent power grid. The SmartGrid interconnects and manages electricity generation and storage, electrical appliances and energy transfer and distribution networks.
The overarching term for networked, partially automated energy management, entertainment and security in homes.
Websites that enable users to interact via personal profiles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing).
Targeted, personalised phishing attacks.
A type of scam where an intruder attempts to gain unauthorised access to a user's system or information by masquerading as somebody else.
In IT security, threat refers to a possible danger that might exploit a vulnerability to breach security and therefore cause possible harm.
A vulnerability or weak spot in hardware or software that attackers can use to gain access to a system.