Great importance of critical infrastructures
Switzerland is highly dependent on the continuous operation of critical infrastructures that ensure the supply of crucial goods and services. The term « critical infrastructures » refers to those facilities and organizations, whose disruption could cause severe damage on a supra-regional level, e.g. in the energy sector, the communication sector or in the transport sector. These include amongst others the power supply, the drinking water supply, the information and communication technologies or waste disposal. Disruptions may have rapid repercussions for the population and the basis of its livelihood and can affect other critical infrastructures through domino effects: For instance, a large scale power blackout will also disrupt the water supply, telecommunications, and rail transport. The overarching goal is therefore to maintain the operability of the critical infrastructures.
FOCP coordinates activities
Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) is nothing new. However, for a long time, cross-sectoral coordination and a consolidated approach at the national level were lacking. The Federal Council mandated the Federal Office of Civil Protection (FOCP) to co-ordinate efforts in the area of CIP and to establish a CIP Working Group (CIP WG) in which all relevant authorities are represented. The CIP WG is conducting a number of projects in order to achieve a more profound understanding in preparation for the elaboration of a national CIP strategy by spring 2012.
Basic CIP strategy approved
Based on the insights gained in these projects conducted by the CIP WG, the members of the working group compiled a Basic Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy that serves as the baseline for the national strategy. Among other things, it outlines the strategic goals as well as the relevant principles and describes the measures to be taken in the area of CIP. The Federal Council approved the Basic CIP Strategy on 5 June 2009 while simultaneously endorsing a second report that provides information on the state of work in the various projects and the achieved results. It also describes the next steps in further detail.