Cybersecurity: “As a multidisciplinary organization, CNRS has a very important card”

What are the challenges of cyber security?

Nicholas Porquet: There are basically two types of threats in cyberspace. The first, and perhaps the most dangerous, is of state origin, with the aim of espionage and destabilization. The second is of criminal origin, with the aim of extorting money by taking victims’ data, which will be encrypted with “ransomware”, as hostages. In recent years, we have thus seen an exponential increase in cyber-attacks with the rise in the use of telecommuting associated with Covid-19. In 2020, we saw a 250% increase in ransomware attacks. Cyber ​​attacks are also in 5th placee Rating of global threats according to the report of the World Economic Forum. And they affect the daily lives of everyone—from individuals to businesses and government agencies of all sizes.

Many challenges await the sector as we fear that cyber attacks will increase in quantity and quality (i.e. the level of technical sophistication). They will create many scientific challenges to be met in the areas of malware detection, data security in the cloud, digital identity and authentication, or even combating online disinformation (Deepfake, fake news). of quantum computer-resistant cryptography (post-quantum cryptography). A quantum computer will indeed make a huge technological leap in its ability to decipher communications. Some of these challenges are detailed in the book 13 Cyber ​​Security Challenges Published by CNRS Editions.

How does CNRS position itself as a strategic player for companies in this sector?

NP: Cybersecurity spans a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, human and social sciences, mathematics, physics, and electronics. As a multidisciplinary organization, CNRS therefore has a very important card to play in a sector with numerous opportunities for scientific collaboration with industrialists and public services. Cybersecurity research at the CNRS represents 200 research staff divided into 29 departments covering the entire territory. Among the research topics: coding and cryptography, of which CNRS is at the forefront internationally, as well as formal methods of cyber security (used for example for malware detection), multimedia data security, security material systems. .. Faced with these scientific challenges, CNRS is positioning itself as a key player in cyber security research to better protect our society and ensure our sovereignty.

How does the national cybersecurity acceleration strategy break down in terms of academic research, innovation and collaboration between players in the sector?

NP: CNRS is the second pilot together with Inria and CEA of the Cybersecurity Priority Research Program and Facilities (PEPR) launched in June 2022 with 65 million euros over 6 years. This PEPR aims to accelerate fundamental research in 10 projects focused on two key areas of consensus in the scientific community – information security and system security.. National Cyber ​​Security Acceleration Strategy also defines a number of measures for companies to encourage the development of sovereign breakthrough innovations in this field. This strategy encourages the development of collaborative and collaborative approaches between players in the sector, in which the CNRS is fully involved. It is in this context Campus Cyber
It was created in mid-February 2022 as a cyber security point in France, where the CNRS is located and in collaboration with the CEA, Inria and the Universities and Grandes Ecoles. the Computer Security Research Group (GDR IS) Bringing together 1,300 researchers in the field of cyber security from the French ESR, it aims to share knowledge in the cyber field, bring the entire Ecosystem into dialogue and is a complementary tool to the Cyber ​​Campus. As last year, we will organize GDR SI National Days on June 26, 27, 28 at the Cyber ​​Campus. This cutting-edge scientific event brings together researchers, as well as government departments and companies, to discuss the latest advances in computer security research.

Last year, the CNRS created a series of three cybersecurity roundtables that will run until 2023. This is one of the many tools offered by the CNRS to strengthen relationships with companies in the sector…

NP: Indeed, the first round table on the continuum between research, innovation and business creation was held with research entrepreneurs, business leaders (Jean-Noël de Galzain and Regis Lhoste) and CNRS Innovation. The goal was to develop an inventory of collaboration tools, but also to show how it is possible to strengthen collaboration between research and business to move from a scientific concept to an innovative product in cybersecurity. We continue this cycle in 2023 with a round table March 21, 2023 About SHS’s contribution to cyber security, then e-voting and digital democracy.

CNRS has many other tools to promote collaboration, including collaborative laboratories, is a means of long-term cooperation between a company and one or more laboratories. The Cybermalix collaborative lab, for example, is a collaboration between a European cybersecurity software publisher. WALLIX, CNRS, Inria and Loraine University. For example, there are also more classic collaborations with CIFRE theses in partnership with industrialists.

Another variant of the national strategy is the Cyber ​​campus transfer program, currently in use and worth 40 million euros over a period of 5 years. Provides funding for applied research projects and experimental development and technology transfer projects. In this context, consortia between academic partners and companies, as well as public services for the development of advanced innovations, will be created.

Finally, CNRS corporate training In October 2023, it will offer a short training course to raise awareness of cyber security issues. an overview of cyber security This multidisciplinary training is aimed at decision-makers in the public or business sector who are directly or indirectly involved in cyber security strategy..

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