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Swiss Companies Fear Hackers

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 16 January 2024

Unmasking the Cyber Threat: Navigating the New Era of Digital Danger

Swiss Companies Fear Hackers

Cyber Threats to Switzerland at Forefront

In the latest edition of the annual international “Risk Barometer” from Allianz Commercial, cyber attacks have been identified as the top risk for companies globally, with Switzerland being no exception. This trend continues from previous years, highlighting the persistent threat of cybercrime. Business interruption, often a direct consequence of cyber attacks, ranks second. These interruptions are frequently caused by ransomware, which paralyzes operations by locking out access to critical data and systems. These issues were addressed by Swiss officials during renegotiations this week with China.

Local Concerns in Switzerland

While natural disasters are a major concern worldwide, ranking third, the situation in Switzerland differs. Swiss companies are particularly worried about changes in laws and regulations, such as customs duties, sanctions, or protectionist measures. This concern has risen from fifth to a more prominent position in the latest report. Additionally, the shortage of skilled workers is a more significant issue in Switzerland than in the global context, ranking as the fourth greatest risk domestically compared to tenth worldwide.

The Rise of AI-Driven Cybercrime

The “Risk Barometer” also highlights a worrying trend: the exploitation of artificial intelligence by criminal hackers. Since the public launch of AI-driven language models like ChatGTP in late 2022, there has been a notable increase in their use for cyber attacks. These AI tools are being used for more extensive and rapid ransomware attacks, creating new malware, and crafting sophisticated phishing emails and forgeries. Jens Krickhahn, head of the cyber division at Allianz Commercial, notes a significant increase in ransomware attacks in 2023, with claims rising by over half in the first six months alone. The report anticipates this wave of cybercrime to continue into 2024.

This comprehensive analysis by Allianz Commercial, based on a survey of managers, security specialists, and other experts, underscores the evolving landscape of risks faced by businesses globally and in Switzerland, with a particular emphasis on the growing threat of cybercrime.

©Keystone/SDA

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