In France, the number of cyber attacks against the most sensitive companies and administrations has been quadrupled last year. Since the beginning of the year, computer attacks have been weekly against hospitals also mobilized to treat patients of the Covid-19 epidemic. It is in this anxiety-provoking context that Emmanuel Macron presented on February 18 a plan worth 1 billion euros by 2025 aimed at strengthening the country’s cybersecurity.
At the end of a videoconference exchange with the teams of the hospitals of Dax (Landes) and Villefranche-sur-Saone (Rhône) affected in recent days, the President of the Republic detailed a strategy funded for half by the ‘State and half by private sector players.
The objectives are ambitious: this aid must allow the French sector to accelerate, to achieve a turnover of 25 billion in 2025 instead of 7.3 billion in 2019, to double its workforce while professionals today struggle to recruit competent profiles. And also to grow three French start-ups to the rank of unicorns valued at more than 1 billion each.
500 million euros for cybersecurity R&D
“One of the best ways to protect yourself is to have security actors available on French soil”, we justify at the Elysee. Growing by 10% per year for five years according to the Palace, the cybersecurity sector in France is for the moment considered too weak to fight on equal terms in the market against American and Israeli technologies.
As was already the case for national strategies concerning artificial intelligence and quantum, most of the financial effort (515 million) will be directed towards research and development. “We must reduce the holes in the racket that remain in France, points out Jean-Noël de Galzain, president of the Hexatrust business consortium. In particular, it lacks a sovereign solution to protect computers and smartphones. “
Near 150 million will also be devoted to boosting the French ecosystem to promote better collaboration between the different players, in particular through the creation of a business cybercampus at La Défense The State will also take around 200 million euros from the future investment plan to distribute them in equity to start-ups.
Soon cyber “firefighters” in the region
Central anchor of the system, the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi) will be entrusted with a budget of 136 million euros to strengthen the security of public services, primarily hospitals and local communities as well. regularly crippled by ransomware-type malware. This sum will be used to establish a diagnosis to assess the risk of computer fire and to recruit and train public officials in the regions who will act as “local firefighters” in the event of an attack. In hospitals, the budget dedicated to cybersecurity should increase by 350 million euros, taking into account the funding for digital already provided by the Ségur de la Santé.
From the Elysee Palace to the Secretary of State for the Digital Transition, which will launch communication campaigns around best practices, renamed “barrier gestures”, to avoid computer attacks (renewal of passwords, installation of security updates …), We stress the urgency of facing a growing threat all over the world.
“One might think that it is linked to the pandemic, in reality we are facing a situation where the risks are multiplied while cybercriminals have industrialized their modus operandi “, we analyze at the Elysee. Therefore, a large part of the allocated budget is intended to be consumed this year.
In this difficult period, entrepreneurs and managers of VSEs and SMEs need support more than ever. The Les Echos Entrepreneurs site is making its contribution by offering free information and testimonials for the coming weeks. To stay informed of entrepreneurs and startups news, subscribe to our daily newsletter and / or the weekly newsletter Goodbye to the crisis!