The Internet is today intertwined with many aspects of our society. With the increasing digitalization, the dependencies on communication continue to increase. Its unavailability prevents us from making purchases, using public transportation, and communicating with others – essentially living our modern lives. The current Internet has not primarily been built with security and high availability in mind. Attempts to fix these fundamental problems by evolving current systems have limited success.
SCION (Scalability, Control, and Isolation On Next-generation networks) is a secure and reliable inter-domain routing protocol, designed from inception to enhance network control and transparency for communicating parties. SCION offers three unique properties critical for business communication: path control, reliability, and security. Designed by researchers at ETH Zürich, and other partner institutions, it is now deployed for critical communication by the finance industry. Switzerland’s government, military and healthcare system are evaluating the use of the SCION technology for themselves in the near future.
As a path-based architecture, SCION end hosts learn about available network path segments, and combine them into end-to-end paths that are carried in packet headers. Thanks to embedded cryptographic mechanisms, path construction is constrained to the route policies of ISPs and receivers, offering path choice to all the parties: senders, receivers, and ISPs. This approach enables path-aware communication, an emerging trend in networking. These features also enable multi-path communication, which is an important approach for high availability, rapid failover in case of network failures, increased end-to-end bandwidth, dynamic traffic optimization, and resilience to DDoS attacks.
With growing adoption, SCION is evolving into a global ecosystem of providers, users, vendors, and researchers.
SCION powers the the Secure Swiss Finance Network (SSFN) to provide a highly reliable and secure communication fabric for financial institutions.
The Swiss healthcare system can leverage the SCION-based HIN Vertrauensraum for secure communication.
The use of SCION is being evaluated for use in the power industry.
SCION empowers ISPs and service providers to establish new products and services – even enabling completely new business models. Some existing SCION offerings: