Switzerland, Singapore and Germany to open new data and cybersecurity centers simultaneously to fight cybercriminals.

SWITZERLAND:

Yverdon, a city in French-speaking Switzerland, is turning into something akin a twin of Zug. Much like the Crypto Valley, the small city on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel has a cluster of firms crucial to the development of the financial-service industry.

Yverdon-les-Bains is Switzerland’s Cyber-les-Bains: what Zug is for the cryptocurrency community, Yverdon is quickly becoming for the anti-hacking industry.

Snap, the Silicon Valley-based tech firm, is the sponsor of «Black Alps», a conference due to begin tomorrow in the small Swiss city. The event centers around a cluster of firms based in Yverdon that aim to provide solutions against attacks by cybercriminals, according to «Le Temps» newspaper (in French).

Competition for Swiss Talents

Netguardians, Sysmosoft and Strong.codes are but three companies at the cryptography center in Yverdon. The cluster receives a steady flow of experts from EPFL, the high-profile tech university in Lausanne and established companies such as Kudelski.

Crypto Valley may already be a household name beyond Swiss borders – and Cyber-les-Bains may soon follow in its wake. And will likely compete for the best talent available in an industry that is still in its infancy.

Swisscom Initiative

Because what companies such as UBS and Credit Suisse need most is watertight protection against theft and manipulation of data – more so than new digital currency and blockchain solutions in any case. The finance industry faces a three times higher risk to get attacked by cyber criminals than any other industry in the country.

There is no shortage of takers for the solutions that the companies in Yverdon come up with. Swisscom, Switzerland’s dominant telecommunications company, last week said it launched a new service against cybercrime, together with Netguardians. Swisscom has 170 banks as clients, which will quickly help technology to spread.

Foreign Takers

International firms are eager to take a share of the goods too. Apparently, Snap last year acquired Strong.codes – but both companies haven’t actually gone public with the deal.

Perhaps there will be more news about the cooperation at the conference on Wednesday. Bern, the Swiss capital, in any case is taking a keen interest in the developments: the Swiss head of cyber, Mauro Vignati, will speak at the conference.

The Swiss government in June 2017 launched a cyber-defense program and decided to work closely with the private sector and universities in its bid to up the country’s defense against the new form of crime.

SINGAPORE:

channelnewsasia.com – A new centre launched in Singapore on Tuesday (Nov 14) aims to combat cybercrime and ramp up cyber information sharing among 49 financial institutions in nine countries – Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) Asia Pacific Regional Analysis Centre will provide round the clock local and global coverage with threat information sharing, actionable intelligence, as well as tools and resources to respond to incidents, according to a joint press release by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and FS-ISAC.

MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said that against the backdrop of increasingly complex and sophisticated cyber-attacks, it is “even more important for countries to stay engaged, foster stronger relationships and exchange information and expertise freely”.

The centre’s operations and the regional intelligence reports it produces will help Asia Pacific countries to deal better with cross-border cybercrimes, he added.

FS-ISAC president and CEO Bill Nelson said information sharing remains one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of cybercrime.

“Strengthening local intelligence capabilities and cyber-resilience is critical at both a regional and a global level,” he said.

Member institutions will benefit from regional meetings, regionally-focused monthly threat calls, webinars on hot topics, cybersecurity training and summits, MAS and FS-ISAC said in the press release.

FS-ISAC is an intelligence gathering and sharing initiative for the financial sector, with over 7,000 members worldwide.

To meet the growing need for cybersecurity talent, the FS-ISAC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Temasek Polytechnic to provide internship opportunities to the latter’s students. They will be exposed to real world cyber threats to build up their skills in cybersecurity, according to MAS and FS-ISAC.

They added that the initiative will support the financial services industry transformation map and meet the growing demand for cybersecurity talent in Singapore.

Speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, also announced other key measures the central bank will take to strengthen cyber defence in the financial services sector.

“As we go more digital and online, cyber risks will mount. And if these risks are not managed well, public trust and confidence in technology will suffer,” said Mr Menon.

“To fully harness the benefits of digital technology, we must build robust cyber defences and have effective remediation plans when things go wrong.”

PARTNERSHIP WITH ABS

One of the ways MAS is boosting its cybersecurity is by teaming up with Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to review the Technology Risk Management Guidelines.

These guidelines are reviewed regularly, but for the first time, these guidelines will be created with industry players.

“We will develop cyber risk management guidance with the industry, for the industry.”

MAS’ partnership with ABS will aim to “establish guidelines for ‘red-teaming’, to enhance cyber security testing … to assess (an organisation’s) ability to respond to infiltration attempts. It will complement other forms of testing and assessments that are already in place,” said Mr Menon.

Currently, Singapore’s central bank requires key financial institutions to conduct penetration testing of their cyberdefences by independent third-parties, or “red-teaming” – a process designed to detect network and system vulnerabilities and test security by simulating an attack to infiltrate a system, network or access to data.

GERMANY:

datacentrenews.eu – Digital Realty has increased its European footprint with the launch of a second data centre in Frankfurt with focus on compliance with GDPR.

This nine-megawatt facility is the first of three buildings to be built on the new Digital Realty campus in Sossenheim, Germany, an established data centre hub approximately three miles west of downtown Frankfurt.

Digital Realty CEO, William Stein says this expansion demonstrates the company’s commitment to customers and their operations in Germany.

“Frankfurt is one of the most important data centre markets in the world – second in size only to London in the European region,” says Stein.

“Given its central location, excellent infrastructure, and concentration of leading international businesses, Frankfurt is widely regarded as the connectivity, commercial and financial capital of Germany.”

The Wilhelm‐Fay‐Strasse site in Sossenheim is expected to support the development of up to 27 megawatts of data centre capacity, connected to Digital Realty’s existing facility on Lyoner Strasse via dark fibre.

Stein says this will establish a a carrier‐neutral and fibre‐rich connectivity hub with access to major carriers, Internet service and exchange providers, as well as leading global cloud service providers.

“We are pleased to be able to support our customers’ global growth requirements on our state‐of‐the‐art Sossenheim campus,” Stein says.

Digital Realty made an occasion of the data centre launch with a roundtable forum on the ground floor of the new facility to discuss the impact of stringent new data protection rules in Europe.

In conjunction with the grand opening and roundtable forum, Digital Realty shared the results of a research paper it commissioned from IDG regarding the impact of data protection laws in Germany.

The IDG study uncovered that while awareness of and confidence in organisations’ ability to meet GDPR requirements is high, familiarity with the specific requirements was less universal, suggesting a somewhat mixed level of preparedness.

Furthermore, opinions were almost neatly split down the middle on expectation as to how data protection approaches will evolve in Germany over the next five years – some believe rules will become stronger while almost as many believe they will be relaxed to facilitate greater business capacity.

“Cybersecurity is not only a hot topic in Europe, especially with GDPR coming into effect, but in Germany it’s an established protocol, subject to significant governance and regulatory oversight,” says Rob Coupland, Digital Realty’s managing director for EMEA.

“The research IDG conducted on our behalf provides valuable insight into how attitudes toward the protection of data are evolving, and the impact this might have for the future of business in Germany.”

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