Cyber defence: a global challenge, a national priority

31 July 2012

On 18 July 2012, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces published an information report on cyber defence for which Senator Jean-Marie Bockel is the rapporteur. It is an opportunity to review the French national strategy on cyber defence and the fight against cyber crime since 2008...

The report provides an exhaustive overview of the major attacks that have been a daily reality for governments and large companies since the massive attacks that hit Estonia in 2007 and forced awareness of the cybercrime threat. In its report, the commission details the millions of daily computer attacks faced by administrations and companies: denial of service, espionage or even computer bombs (which destroy all or part of the data of the vital information systems attacked), the report highlights a "concrete and protean" threat. 

This awareness has led the United States to give the National Security Agency (NSA) a 50 billion dollar budget for cyber defence. The United Kingdom also has a strategy and a substantial budget, since in 2010 Prime Minister David Cameron announced an additional £650 million over the next four years for cyber defence. In Germany, the Federal Office for Information Systems Security has a budget of 80 million euros, the committee's report states. The French National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI - a member of Signal Spam) is the cornerstone of the French cyber defence system. Its budget is close to that of the German Federal Office with 75 million euros, but it has half as many staff. 

In addition to the PIRANET plan, the report mentions a national strategy adopted in February 2011 by the ANSSI, but the list of concrete actions to be implemented has not been made public. This strategy mentions 7 areas of effort:

1) Better anticipate and analyse the environment in order to take the most appropriate decisions

2) Detecting and countering attacks, alerting potential victims and supporting them

3) Increase and sustain our scientific, technical, industrial and human capacities with the aim of preserving the necessary autonomy

4) Protecting the information systems of the State and operators of vital infrastructures for better national resilience

5) Adapting our law to take account of technological developments and new uses

6) Develop our international cooperation in the field of cyber security of information systems, the fight against cyber crime and cyber defence to better protect national information systems

7) Communicating, informing and convincing to enable the French people to understand the challenges linked to the security of information systems.

Signal Spam, through the flow of information sent to the ANSSI and its partnerships, contributes to areas 1, 2, 6 and 7.

The Senate Committee's report concludes with a list of priorities and 50 concrete recommendations to make the protection and defence of information systems a real national priority. 
The executive summary of the report is available below, and you can find the full report on the Senate website and in the Signal Spam press room.


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