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Are You Liable for a Cyber Attack on Your business in Switzerland, Even if it’s Your Providers’ Fault?

Jean-Marie Nievergelt

June 8, 2023

What happens if your Swiss SMB is the victim of a cyber attack, even if you’ve done everything right and followed best practices? In this blog post, I’ll explain the potential liability that Swiss SMBs face in case of a cyber attack, no matter who their providers are.

Who is liable for a cyber attack on a Swiss SMB?

The answer is complex. If your Swiss SMB is the victim of a cyber-attack, you could be liable for damages, regardless of whether the attack resulted from your own actions or the actions of your providers. This is because Swiss law places the burden of data protection and cybersecurity on the Swiss SMB itself and not on any third-party providers.

What can you do to protect your Swiss SMB?

Choose your providers carefully: When selecting third-party providers for services like cloud storage or payment processing, choosing providers with strong cybersecurity measures is important. Ask about their security practices and certifications, and review their contracts to understand their liability in case of a cyber attack.
Implement cybersecurity best practices: While Swiss SMBs are responsible for their cybersecurity, following best practices can help minimise the risk of a cyber attack. This includes regularly updating software and systems, using strong passwords, and implementing access controls.
Consider active cyber insurance: Active cyber insurance can provide additional protection in case of a cyber attack. Cyber insurance can cover data recovery, liability, and business interruption, giving you peace of mind and protection against cyber attacks.

In conclusion, Swiss SMBs face significant liability in case of a cyber attack, even if the attack is the result of a third-party provider’s actions. By carefully selecting providers, following best practices, and considering active cyber insurance, you can take proactive steps to protect your Swiss SMB and minimise the risk of a cyber attack.

Jean-Marie Nievergelt is the COO of Cyberion

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