Is French cyber resilience sufficient?

We can indeed ask the question, in view of the warnings made by Guillaume Poupard on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the creation of ANSSI, the National Agency for Information Systems Security, a state body responsible for studying and anticipating cyber threats targeting the country, and providing effective responses.

According to him, beyond the proven threats coming from other states, certain mafia groups would, soon (understand 'now'), be able to deal violent blows to the country through targeted cyber attacks, in particular against banking networks or energy, or worse, by targeting strategic infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants or electricity dams. In other words, groups independent of a state framework would already be, or will soon be, capable of carrying out war operations on the national territory, and therefore of selling this capacity to the highest bidders, whether it is a terrorist group, or a state wanting to distance itself from the attack.

If ANSSI's budget was increased from €80 million to €100 million in 4 years, and its workforce increased from 350 to 600 employees, these figures appear very paltry, knowing that the agency is responsible for protecting an economy of 68 million individuals living for the vast majority in a form of tight flow of consumption, which the slightest grain of sand could derail. In this, Ms. Poupard's repeated and strong warnings are reminiscent of Cassandra's predictions to her father Priam, knowing that she would never be listened to, despite her gift of prescience.

Beyond Cyber ​​vulnerability, about which G. Poupard's remarks leave little doubt, it is therefore overall national resilience which is now at stake. Because if it would only take a few hours of interruption ticket distribution systems to trigger riots in the country, one can easily imagine to what extent the country would be unable to organize itself to respond to an attack.

In other words, if the mission of ANSSI must obviously be reinforced, and massively, so as to align the means deployed with the reality of the threats and risks incurred, it appears essential to simultaneously initiate action intended to strengthen national popular resilience, like what the Swedish government did a few months ago, or President Putin two years ago, by requiring Russian businesses, public services, and citizens to be in capable of operating in an autonomous degraded mode corresponding to a war situation.

Our grandparents, and sometimes our parents, had this reflex when they kept a large reserve of sugar, oil, pasta/rice/purée in the cupboards, and bank notes in the cupboard. Current generations, on the other hand, none of whom have experienced a time of war, are disconnected from these precautions. The non-perishable food reserves of French households (including mine, editor's note) rarely exceed a few days, and very few have the means to compensate for the absence of electricity, gas, and even less water drinkable.

As global tensions continue to increase, does it not seem reasonable to take such a step, so as not to have to surrender without a fight, if necessary?

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