The urgency of training cybersecurity experts

Cybersecurity professions, which are very varied, require IT skills, but also strategic and managerial ones.

It is a tower planted in the middle of the La Défense district, near Paris, a 13-storey and 25,000 square meter totem dedicated to the cybersecurity of France and Europe, which is due to open its doors this spring. At a time when war is hitting Ukraine, the inauguration of this Cyber ​​Campus, where 112 private and public sector players are gathered, is timely. Industrialists, administrations and major cyber schools meet here to respond together to the threats that target all the digital in our environment. Together they will have to find solutions and, to do so, train the cyberguards of tomorrow.

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Four higher education institutions are participating in the project: the engineering schools Efrei, Epita, Esilv and the Galileo Global Education group. “The objective is to strengthen the bridge between training and professionalization, so that our students are as close as possible to the job market”, explains Max Agueh, head of security, networks and embedded systems at Efrei. A merger that is also favored by companies. “Working with schools and universities allows us to reorient their programs according to our needs, to provide them with trainers and to ensure that the training is concrete”, assures Pierre-Yves Jolivet, general manager of cyberdefense activities at Thales. Young graduates will be immediately employable, promise the actors of Campus Cyber.

The project was launched by Emmanuel Macron, who wanted, in France, a flagship of cybersecurity on the model of the industrial park of Beer-Sheva in Israel, or even that of Skolkovo in Russia. “There is a severe lack of professionals in the world of digital security. This observation has been shared for several years by our entire ecosystem”, warns Aurélie Bauer, head of the Information Systems Security Training Center (CFSSI) of the National Agency for Information Systems Security (Anssi), digital security policeman. At the same time, the agency notes “constant improvement of malicious actors”. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of confirmed intrusions into reported information systems jumped by 37% to exceed 1,000.

Torrent of Potential Flaws

The year 2022 does not look any calmer. The Covid-19 crisis has multiplied the use of IT tools to enable remote work. A torrent of potential flaws and a godsend for hackers. “In two years, the number of attacks has quadrupled,” measure Pierre-Yves Jolivet. The attackers are numerous and their profiles varied. According to a report co-authored by Thales and the American company Verint, 5% are cyberterrorists, 20% cybercriminals, 26% hacktivists. The lion’s share goes to the States (49%), which sponsor these operations for the purposes of” spying “, underlines the Anssi.

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