International cooperation and national sovereignty are closely linked. Compared to the powerful unitary solutions of foreign heavyweights, the spread of European innovation pales. To talk about cooperation in the fight against cybercrime, without mentioning the brakes on the development of European societies, is to refuse to notice part of the problem.
Cooperation under restrictions
Cooperation is predominantly diplomatic in nature. The French Senate readily acknowledges this in its June 10, 2021 briefing report titled “Corporate Cyber Security – Prevention and Cure: What are the tools against cyber viruses?”. We find the following statement: “While digital technologies continue to be dominated by American private players, legal cooperation between the European Union and the United States remains the cornerstone of cybersecurity.”
There is no doubt that solutions, mostly American, unitary and powerful, are flooding the systems of companies and public organizations. Productivity solutions, yes, but also cybersecurity solutions. In other words, information about the attempts and successes of cyberattacks is mainly held by North American companies. The desire to work without them in the fight against cybercrime is actually doomed to failure.
At the same time, cybersecurity is a market built on deeply rooted beliefs. We believe that the danger can only come from autonomous and vague attackers, but we blindly trust the keys to information systems to companies with a very liberal data regulatory arsenal. This assessment is backed up by biased risk analysis that reinforces consumer confidence in solutions that automatically gain worldwide acceptance.
Sealed European market
Thus, international cooperation is partly imposed by necessity. “So far, digital is still dominated by American private players. The quote is puzzling given that the European market still doesn’t seem ready to play the same cybercourt as the US.
This can be confirmed by anyone who has tried his hand at building a business in the EU market. We know that American protectionism is unacceptable to companies with European capital seeking to establish themselves on American soil. However, the exercises, not to say the US adventure, are still more possible than the European space in the eyes of small and medium-sized growing structures.
Moreover, it is much more correct to speak of 27 European markets. So many markets, so many exports, so much effort to cover several territories that have only one thing in common – extreme diversity. Thus, cybersecurity solutions have to pass an approval test in every European country in question, which solves none of the proximity and language requirements, let alone communication and marketing activities. Of course, there are successes, and it would be possible to cite fintech in the broad sense in support of the argument, despite some wanderings and trips. However, payment media and institutions have benefited from a political and regulatory momentum that cyber defense has not yet benefited from.
Nothing like this appears for the digital sector, despite some timid attempts. The case of European cybersecurity certifications and the inability of states to agree on common criteria is just one of many examples that contribute to strengthening US technological hegemony and thus keeping European intelligence dependent on third parties.
Think about cyber defense the way you think about security
Cybersecurity is a critical factor for the survival of a business. Because of this observation, there are innumerable circles of interest, public and private, that arise from the initiative of the members of this sector or have common characteristics. InterCERT France, Circl in Luxembourg, OpenCTI, Pr0ph3cy, Clusif, OSSIR or even Hexatrust, cybersecurity is replete with initiatives as interesting as they are divided, with no coherence of common interests sharing the means to combat cybercrime. From their point of view, European cybersecurity companies have no benchmark for concerted and reasonable intervention without exercising the prerogatives that only the police have.
The senator’s report already calls for a relaxation of the rules of public order and the activities of the OGAP, but the current situation requires much stronger measures. The consecration of cyber defense as an essential element of European defense would open up the application of rules regarding state defense or security contracts.
The unity of the European market also includes strong enterprises, fundraising commensurate with the challenges and at least equal to the level of foreign investment.
Moreover, competition in this sector only allows for a modified transmission of information, which must be acted upon urgently through a set of specific rules. Finally, we demand a significant acceleration in terms of European certifications and labels, especially in terms of offensive security, a crucial technology today, but without a frame of reference, to the detriment of the European production structure.
It is at this price that balanced international cooperation will see the light of day.