Switzerland has a reputation for strong security thanks to their banking industry. It is known worldwide as a safe and reliable place in the finance industry, making it one of the global banking leaders.
Although, the country recently faced international pressure and has had to agree to automatically exchange banking account details with other countries within the next two years. Nevertheless, Switzerland’s reputation for security is still heads and tails above many other countries.
With this reputation, Switzerland is now becoming an appealing place for many to store their digital data. After the government snooping revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Switzerland are capitalising on their reputation in hopes to draw data businesses to operate in their country.
Franz Grueter, the managing director of Green.ch, a leading data storage firm, said, “Data storage is the new Eldorado for Switzerland. It’s a real boom.”
“Clients need confidence, discretion, reliability and stability. These have been the country’s hallmarks forever,” he continued.
More than one billion francs (around US$1.1 billion) have been invested in the country’s data centres over the past five years. Now with 61 data centres, Switzerland is the fifth largest data hub in Europe. Considering the size of the country, that’s an impressive feast.
For Switzerland, personal data is defined as a precious good. They operate a restrictive law which means that data can’t be handed to governments or authorities without a judge’s request.
Some of the Swiss data vaults can be found in huge underground bunkers. One company which uses these is Deltalis, a firm which claims it offers the most secure data centre. The centre is located in a Cold War era army barracks, secured behind four-tonne steel doors that can even withstand nuclear attacks. Biometric scanners and an armed guard are also in place – its exact GPS location is even a secret. Now that’s security.
One company who moved is Multiven, an IT services company that relocated from Silicon Valley to Zurich in 2009. The firm anticipated the future of the digital landscape and moved early in order to lay their ground work. For them, they see a future where individuals, businesses and organisations worldwide will be storing their digital assets (from trade secrets to intellectual property) in Switzerland.
Another such company is ProtonMail, a web-based mail service that uses encryption to secure the data of more than 300000 users. The company’s chief, Andy Yen, commented that America and the UK’s recent suggestions to ban encryption would never happen in Switzerland; to them, the culture of respecting privacy is fundamental.
Of course, complete protection is never ensured in the modern electronic world that is constantly changing. Jean-Henry Morin, a professor of information systems at Geneva University, pointed to the recent cyber-attack on Sony as a highlight that full-proof protection isn’t possible.
Data security is a very serious topic and it’s one that is likely to becoming increasingly prominent as time passes and more users worldwide get connected. Data is the lifeblood of personal and business life and it needs to be treated as securely as any other personal belonging.
Switzerland's Reputation for Security Makes it Great for Storage
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