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Critical infrastructure protection

The importance of critical infrastructure

Critical infrastructure comprises service and supply systems that are essential to the economy or the livelihood of the population (power supply, medical care, telecommunications, etc.). This includes buildings, facilities and anything required for the provision of goods and services (IT systems, networks, etc.).

Critical infrastructure protection aims to improve resilience (i.e. robustness, adaptability and regenerative capacity) in order to prevent serious disruptions or mitigate their impact. Measures to protect critical infrastructure can therefore include strengthening IT systems, organising a proxy system for critical workers, and defining minimum power supply requirements via a supervisory authority.

National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure Protection

The Federal Council adopted the National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) on 16 June 2023. It builds on the two previous CIP strategies published in 2012 and 2017, respectively.

Switzerland’s new national CIP strategy defines the overriding goals and principles of action for all parties involved. The strategy also identifies eight measures to improve the country’s resilience with regard to its critical infrastructure. For example, the responsible supervisory and regulatory authorities have been tasked with examining all sectors for any significant risk of major supply disruption, as well as taking measures to mitigate this. A further measure involves compiling an inventory, to be updated periodically, of the main objects and operators in Switzerland. These can include important hubs for communication, the power supply, food distribution and the provision of medicines.

Cooperation between stakeholders

The implementation of the national CIP strategy is closely monitored by the Federal Council’s Energy, Environment and Infrastructure delegation. The Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) is responsible for coordinating the strategy’s implementation, which will be carried out in close cooperation with the operators of critical infrastructure, supervisory and regulatory authorities in various sectors, and the cantons. Although the CIP strategy currently applies indefinitely, the FOCP will assess every four years whether an update is required.

Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern


Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP

Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern