The issues are “not new,” but “digital insecurity is undermining our citizens’ trust in technology,” Jean-Noel Barrault told Cybercampus residents. The Minister Delegate for Digital Affairs confirmed on Thursday 28 October the government’s ambitions in its cyber security strategy.
“The cyberthreat is becoming more and more professional,” he stressed, adding that today it was possible to get malware “for several thousand euros.” An observation shared by industry experts. “There is a proliferation of attackers,” admitted Alban Ondrezhek, CTO and co-founder of ANOZR WAY, with L’Usine Digitale, with the advent of “ransomware as a service” – where groups of cybercriminals provide their software to “franchisees” for a fee.
“This phenomenon has accelerated with the Covid-19 crisis, when some people have realized that it is easy to make money while staying at home behind a screen,” explained the former director of cybersecurity at Orange Business Services.
And the latest barometer from the French startup confirms that the level of cyber threats has never been so critical. French companies affected by ransomware lost €1.06 billion in cumulative turnover between January and August 2022, according to the study. In just 8 months, the number of organizations affected by this type of attack is already up to 85% of the entire 2021, according to the same September barometer.
“We must go further,” warned Jean-Noel Barrot, who clarified the government’s position on the issue by presenting two “strong goals” of the French strategy. The digital minister will first focus on “everyday cybersecurity.”
“As attacks become widespread, prevention must also be universal,” he said, citing the need for “a collective awareness of barrier gestures that must be adopted to prevent attacks and fraud attempts.” To facilitate their assimilation, Jean-Noel Barrault announced the “providing of simple, free and optional protection tools”.
Three tools to improve security
He first indicated that the “anti-fraud filter”, President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise and technical drafts under development, will be offered in beta in the summer of 2023 and then made available to the general public next summer. This filter can be used both when browsing from a computer and from a phone, and should tell the user when he is about to go to a malicious site.
Jean-Noel Barrault then called for “protection by default” of sites and applications, with the launch of the “My Secure Service” platform in late November, which should allow public services and local authorities to “protect and certify” their sites or applications.
Finally, the minister recalled the introduction at the end of 2023 of a “cyber assessment”, which should, under conditions similar to the nutri assessment, indicate to the Internet user the level of security of the platforms on which he posts his data, such as social networks. Here again, it does not seem that the modalities are not yet well defined. “This cyber speed was born as a result of a parliamentary initiative, the law was passed, now the government must implement this law and therefore determine the specifications,” the minister told L’Usine Digitale, calling for a “comprehensive”, “simple” and “sufficiently informative visually” attestation.
Follow the Acceleration Strategy
The second main goal of the government’s cyber strategy is to “strengthen the sovereignty of the sector.” To fulfill this mission, Jean-Noel Barrault has appointed Florent Kirchner, member of the French Commission for Alternative and Atomic Energy Sources (CEA), National Coordinator of the Cyber Acceleration Strategy. In particular, he will have to ensure the proper implementation of the France 2030 plan. As part of the calls for proposals for this ambitious investment plan, 17 new projects worth 39 million euros will be financed, the minister said.
This new roadmap is also in line with the French ambition presented by the Minister on 6 September as part of the eighth edition of the Hexatrust Professional Association Summer University. Jean-Noel Barrault then set three new targets for the French ecosystem by 2025: triple turnover, three new unicorns and 37,000 additional jobs.
The Minister Delegate for Digital Affairs also provided an additional envelope of 20 million euros to the French cybersecurity policeman Anssi to bolster his resources in the face of an increase in attacks – an amount which thus adds to the billion euros released as part of the national cybersecurity plan released by the government in February 2021 and aimed at identifying the French champions in the field of computer security.
Lack of talent
On the cyber campus, Jean-Noel Barrault also mentioned a shortage of talent, while according to firm Wavestone, there are 15,000 jobs available in the sector, meaning “so many brakes on the growth of our companies” for the minister. “Without these talents, our industry will not be sovereign,” he stressed, reaffirming Emmanuel Macron’s desire to train 400,000 digital experts by the end of the five-year term.
Increasing the “desirability” of jobs will also be a sine qua non for the success of the sector, he says, while he encourages ecosystem participants to participate in these improvement efforts. Finally, Jean-Noel Barrault took advantage of his presence at the Cyber Campus to welcome the “Commune Cyber Dynamique” label, which took its first steps this week, as well as the “regular” responses provided by the orientation and programs of the Ministry of the Interior. which should soon make it to the National Assembly, with particular emphasis on clarifying cyber insurance rules.
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