Swiss Post boosts its cybersecurity expertise

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Swiss Post has acquired a majority shareholding in computer security company Hacknowledge.

According to the company, Swiss Post is constantly under attack from online criminals because it houses critical national infrastructure in partnership with the Swiss economy and its SMEs. Approximately 70 Swiss Post employees currently work in the information security unit to ensure that sensitive customer data in Swiss Post’s systems is exchanged safely and reliably with business and private customers. These cybersecurity specialists at Swiss Post identify threats, including persistent ones, and defend both the system and physical and digital services against them. Swiss Post’s team successfully repels over 100 targeted hacker attacks every month, over 280 waves of phishing against customers and around 10 million spam and phishing emails each month.

The acquisition of Hacknowledge is intended to strengthen Swiss Post’s expertise and capabilities in cybersecurity while ensuring the secure exchange of confidential information and customer data online. Hacknowledge provides support in identifying and responding to targeted cyber threats aimed at public authorities, SMEs, partner companies and Swiss Post. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or details of the acquisition.

Hacknowledge will continue to operate as an independent company after the takeover. Hacknowledge staff will remain employed by the company and have been informed about the new ownership structure. Based in Western Switzerland, the company was founded in 2016 and has 46 employees. It offers companies a professional security center without incurring the expense involved in infrastructure or related costs. The acquisition is expected to improve Swiss Post’s ability to identify cyberattacks and quickly react to them.

Nicole Burth, head of communication services at Swiss Post, said, “Swiss Post wants to bring into the digital world the trust that people and companies in Switzerland place in us the analog world, and strengthen it. Put simply, we want to transfer mail secrecy to the digital world.”

In other Swiss Post partnership news, health insurer Sympany will be the first to move into Swiss Post branches from September 2022. Sympany will be present under the Swiss Post umbrella in eight municipalities in German- and French-speaking Switzerland, and Swiss Post staff will be responsible for arranging consultations with Sympany for interested customers at a further 90 branches. A gradual expansion of services is planned after this. The partnership between Swiss Post and Sympany is intended to be the beginning of the evolution of Swiss Post branches into service centers, where the focus will be on providing customers with physical advice, even in a digital age. Swiss Post has agreed a strategic partnership with the health insurer for a three-year period.

Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post, said, “Our own branches will continue to be the main pillar of Swiss Post’s services in the future, covering the entire country and remaining accessible to all – in keeping with the aim of public service.”

Michael Willer, CEO of Sympany, added, “We want to bring Sympany even closer to our customers with our presence in Swiss Post branches. Talking to people face-to-face allows many queries to be answered. Similarly, many people appreciate personal contact with trained and trustworthy advisors – especially when it comes to health insurance. That’s why I’m delighted that Sympany will be the first cooperation partner to provide consultations in Swiss Post branches.”

Thomas Baur, head of PostalNetwork and member of executive management at Swiss Post, commented, “Many companies want to offer their customers physical contact, even in the digital age. And many customers appreciate personal advice. We are present throughout Switzerland, our employees in the branches are close to the customers and enjoy a great deal of trust. Private customers and business partners can easily carry out several transactions with us under one roof. The interest is there, the new strategy is taking shape.”

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