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What will the billion euro plan for cybersecurity in France be used for?


“This awareness is already a very good thing. It is very important that there be money because it is with the means that things will be able to move”, notes Sébastien Dupont, recognized specialist in cybersecurity, on Europe 1 Friday. While the number of cyber attacks quadrupled in 2020, and two French hospitals were completely paralyzed by attacks recently, Emmanuel Macron presented a € 1 billion plan on Thursday to strengthen IT security in the country.

Sébastien Dupont, who notably worked for the Ministry of Defense and published “You are crazy to go on the Internet” with Flammarion editions, deciphered on Europe 1 the measures already announced. However, he wonders “if this is sufficient. We are still waiting for details: to whom will this expenditure be entrusted and in which sectors it will go?”

136 million to strengthen public sector security

Among the first announcements, 136 million euros should go to strengthening the IT security of administrations and hospitals. “Finally!”, Emphasizes Sébastien Dupont. “I worked for twelve years in the administration, on major government projects. And again, we had the budgets to work in cybersecurity so I don’t have too much to complain about. But today I am a citizen worried about the pauperization of all these essential technological aspects to function in the service of the citizen. ” These 136 million are therefore in his eyes “a very good thing”, which should go hand in hand with “the upgrading” of certain professions which are not yet, which “penalizes everyone. And we end up with hospitals today that are stuck. “

Witness the setbacks of the hospitals of Dax and Villefranche-sur-Saône at the beginning of February, completely paralyzed by attacks, forcing them to operate by hand because patient records, telephony, surgical devices, medication management and appointments , among others, were blocked.

Doubling of jobs from 37,000 to over 70,000

Emmanuel Macron also announced the doubling of jobs in the sector, which should go from 37,000 to more than 70,000. “If we take a look in the rearview mirror of the past ten years, we realize that we have to add staff. We are digitizing, but cybersecurity must not be the poor relation: it must accompany the digital transformation. and not to be a post of savings. It is too much experienced today by companies or by the public sector as a center of savings, “lamented Sébastien Dupont, who recalls that faced with massive attacks, staff in numbers must be able to be mobilized to cope. “The message to be sent to business leaders is: invest! We are here to build cybersecurity. Trust us, unlock the budgets, we can secure. Otherwise, we can’t do anything. We stay there. ‘gun at the foot. “

150 million euros for a cyber-campus in La Défense

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“It is about bringing together players in the cybersecurity sector. What for? The government’s objective is to create synergies to work together,” explains Sébastien Dupont. But it is also a question of developing French research and solutions, because today we depend on 30 to 40% of foreign companies.

“The sovereignty aspect is a real subject. Today, technological solutions, whether IT or cybersecurity, are mostly foreign. And that is a real problem because there is not only the problem of how to protect oneself, there is also a problem of employment: the value of what we create, of our expenses, is sucked up by the countries which have invested earlier and massively in digitization. “

Where do cyber attacks come from and how do you protect yourself against them?

“These pirates are now mostly outside of France. It is very difficult to target certain countries because there is a game of hide and seek. We tend to mean that these are the countries from the East, but (…) contrary to what one might think, these countries would be rather collaborative. We know that there are countries which are very active, which have strong skills. We are thinking of the Chinese , one thinks of North Korea. Different countries are suspected. The ANSSI (National Agency for the security of information systems which monitors these cyberattacks) specifies that there are ten mafia groups today which launch these attacks, ”explains cybersecurity expert Sébastien Dupont.

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In France, one in five companies say they have been the victim of ransomware in 2020. Here are some “barrier gestures” to guard against it:

  • “Avoid clicking anywhere. Today, when you receive an email, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the detective, try to see if there is something in the email that arouses your suspicion and not go. too fast. Otherwise, it could be a disaster, “recalls Sébastien Dupont.
  • Strengthen and change passwords often. The government site “Cybermalveillance” gives you advice on this subject.
  • Back up your data regularly to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Apply security updates to all your devices (PCs, tablets, phones, etc.) as soon as they are offered
  • Check the sites where you shop
  • Avoid public or unknown WiFi networks

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