Interview with Doris Fiala
In the last two years, more political initiatives have been submitted on the topic of cybercrime than ever before. How do you explain that?
The topic has become part of everyone’s everyday life since the pandemic at the latest. Every day we read about attacks on Swiss companies and the administration. This is no coincidence: In 2021, the global damage caused by cyber attacks amounted to over 5 trillion Swiss francs (over five thousand billion). In comparison, the cumulative damage from all natural disasters in the same year amounted to around 125 billion Swiss francs, about 40 times less.
Experts predict that losses will reach 10 trillion Swiss francs in 2025 and around 23 trillion Swiss francs in 2027. Measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), the damage caused by cyberattacks is already the third largest economy in the world.
When you entered politics, the world was much more analogue. In 2023, we live in hyper-connected, digitalised societies. What impact does this development have on politics?
That’s true, our society has changed drastically in the last 20 years. Basically, I notice that the more digitalised societies become, the more cyber security comes into focus. And because the challenges and threats in this area know no territorial national borders, international dialogue is more important than ever – between states, but also with companies, academia and civil society.
This is also the purpose of the Swiss Cyber Security Days SCSD.
Where do you see the biggest challenges in cyberspace in the next 5 years?
My headaches are the so-called «emerging technologies» such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, drone technology, autonomous weapon systems or «brain-computer interface» applications. These are all very powerful technologies that will change many things.
The problem, however, is that this is happening largely unregulated and is proceeding in a correspondingly uncontrolled manner. There is no real dialogue about how these technologies should serve people and what limits should be set for them. It is not in our interest that the spheres of influence of «emerging technologies» are today largely defined by private companies with commercial special interests.
We will also be addressing this urgent issue in dealing with emerging technologies at the upcoming Swiss Cyber Security Days 2024.
President Swiss Cyber Security Days
National Councillor FDP Canton Zurich