Facing tumultuous times, SBB focuses on cyber security - swissinfo.ch

Facing tumultuous times, SBB focuses on cyber security - swissinfo.ch

SBB is Switzerland's national railway operator. The Alpine nation is famed for its dense and reliable rail network.

(Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle)

The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) plans to set up a cyber defence unit to protect critical safety infrastructures from hackers, according to Schweiz am Wochenende. The troubled company was a focal point of the weekend press.

An SBB spokesperson told the German-language newspaper that the railway’s computer system is exposed to hacker attacks almost daily.

Large companies have multiple entry points that can be exploited by hackers, notes the newspaper. Sometimes Internet bandits use malware to block a computer network and try to extort money. Sometimes they send e-mails with malicious code and try to penetrate systems to eke out sensitive data. And sometimes they overwhelm a website with so many requests that it gets paralysed. This is known as a DDoS attack – which SBB experienced in 2016.external link

Digitisation has long permeated rail operations in many aspects. "Automation and networking technologies" meant that safety-critical systems "are increasingly exposed to cyber threats and must be appropriately protected," SBB computer scientists warn in a report cited by Schweiz am Wochenende.

To boost information technology safety, SBB will set up a separate unit dedicated to cyber defence. The company is seeking strategic partners, as revealed by a public tender published on a procurem ..