Why isn’t the Secretary of State responsible for cybersecurity?

With the extension of the Minister’s duties, there is a political will to make this topic a priority, particularly in the context of electronic warfare. Today, the redesign of Building 2 goes even further and announces the creation of the position of Minister Plenipotentiary for Digital Transformation and Telecommunications, entrusted to Jean-Noel Barrow. Do we hope that the position of Minister of State for Cyber ​​Security will see the light of day during the next government?

Digital is ubiquitous, essential in everyone’s daily life (eg to do tax return nowadays); Besides, almost all French people have an email address, be it professional or personal, this tool has become a must. This almost generalized use of digital technology is giving rise to numerous and increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. Although France is a recognized world power, it lost of its digital supremacy. In a context where the products and services in this field are predominantly American.

To restore its digital sovereignty, it is necessary for France to promote the entire ecosystem, but also, and above all, publishers of software solutions. And in the shorter term, it should protect the emergence of sovereign or credible solutions, this is a priority. In fact, the data they process (the data) is now the true value of businesses and citizens.

go further

The creation of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, Industrial and Digital Sovereignty and the new position of Jean-Noel Barrow is a first step, but we must go further. The role of the Secretary of State for Cyber ​​Security has become a necessity and appears to be the next role to be created within the government. Indeed, in France there is a sovereign duty of the state to ensure the external and internal security of the country and especially the security of its citizens. Ensuring the digital security of French companies and people is part of this duty, and it is a strategic topic that must have a representative. But it seems that the political leaders were not fully aware of this until now.

In recent years there has been a digital frenzy and the “startup nation”, now is the time to take care of the security of this ecosystem. In February 2021, the President announced a €1 billion funded national cybersecurity strategy with one priority: to provide hospitals and local authorities … with cybersecurity solutions to fight cyberattacks that threaten their work. A year later, at the beginning of 2022, France assumed the presidency of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (PFUE), the challenge was to advance European projects, but also to discuss the digital priorities to be undertaken in Europe .. in the current context.

The cyber issue has, of course, become strategic but above all diplomatic and geostrategic. Indeed, it is necessary to be able to avoid the interference of cybercriminals in the highest stages of democracy. remember case leaked Emails from Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 presidential campaign; This type of attack proves that digital security can have an impact on our lives as citizens, because in this specific case, the outcome of the vote could have been different. Recently, it has been necessary to know how to anticipate or face hostilities because unfortunately the clashes in Ukraine are not only on the ground. The whole world is witnessing a war in the digital space whose limits and boundaries are impossible to know and whose consequences can have a global impact because sometimes even certain (digital) weapons change their sides. It is quite legitimate to ask this question: what role would the conflict play if, for offensive operational needs, the Russian state came to provide criminal organizations with digital weapons (particularly zero-day vulnerabilities) to support them. These could be using it for other purposes, and potentially affecting us through bouncing back.

Not to mention the campaigns fake news Which must be regulated because they are in themselves weapons of manipulation of conscience. They are sometimes used for advertising purposes and are growing exponentially. Even if it’s certainly for negotiation purposes, Elon Musk has the right to wonder what percentage of fake or “robot” accounts are represented on Twitter. Moreover, according to audience analysis website Spark Toro, there will be 19.42% of fake accounts on Twitter. Four times more than the estimate given by the social network. This statistic is huge and can be frightening when we know that many young internet users follow the news on social media.

Creating the position of Secretary of State for Cyber ​​Security will also strengthen the ecosystem and create a real utopia or even boost the sector. This new functionality can encourage orders and the signing of contracts with French publishers, encouraging local digital consumption and thus boosting the economy. SMEs or a hospital that chooses a French electronic solution is beneficial to everyone because the company that deploys this solution will pay their taxes in France, and will pay the salaries of their employees, who will mainly consume themselves locally … However, the French market is only the remaining solutions. We are very careful and perfectionist and are very careful with our marketing and/or packaging concepts compared to Americans. It is clear that we do not have to be ashamed in front of foreign products but only to dare. It is also time to put an end to the mass exodus of our engineers and salespeople. If the teaching is of a very good standard, we will be sorely lacking in manpower in the coming years. It’s time to attract and hold.

Expanding Bruno Le Maire’s role is a step in the right direction. This is very positive, especially since digital sovereignty goes hand in hand with industrial sovereignty. One goal is to redevelop the French industrial fabric, a huge lever for growth. However, this must be done in a sustainable manner.

In fact, France has recently completely relied on Russia for its energy raw materials (gas and oil). The pattern should not be reproduced in other sectors and lessons could be learned.

France and Europe must be more independent than ever and maintain sovereignty at all costs.