ETH President Lino Guzzella on digitalization and cyber security

ETH President Lino Guzzella was interviewed by ETH News regarding digitalization and security risks. Lino Guzzella commented on recent high-profile cyber attacks and the role of ETH Zurich and the ZISC center in developing a safer internet and society.

If you think about the interference in the run-up to the French elections or the recent cyber-attacks, the question nevertheless arises: does digitalisation pose a threat to our liberal society?
Obviously, such developments must be monitored closely. Democracy is under pressure at the moment. That’s why we need informed, enlightened people who are able to question information critically.

Isn’t there also a need for better technical safeguards?
A society must always protect itself against threats. Zurich used to have a city wall made of bricks, but today we need IT walls like the ones we have been building at ETH’s Zurich Information Security & Privacy Center (ZISC) since 2003.

Researchers at ZISC have proposed creating a new foundation for the internet. Is that realistic?
This project represents a huge opportunity. The foundations of the internet were developed under very different circumstances than those prevailing today. Actually, it’s a wonder that this structure still works so well. The project known as SCION (Scalability, Control and Isolation on Next-Generation Networks) now allows secure data transfer. Thanks to ETH, Switzerland could become the first country with a secure internet – and this would open the doors for many exciting applications.

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