Big plans are being made for the future world… and this future will be even more disrupted by digital technology than the present… An exciting adventure is unfolding before us!
If we are tempted to dream of eco-friendly flying taxis in the skies over France during the 2024 Olympics, or the opportunity for everyone to access advanced medical treatment in the operating theatres of 2030, combining robotics, augmented reality goggles, 3D printing and artificial intelligence to enable minimally invasive surgery, digital technology also reminds us that every strength is also a weakness, and every solution involves a potential threat.
Digital is a powerful asset that we must support and develop, adding the essential component of security, so that it can fulfil all its promises.
Innovating to imagine and build the world of tomorrow requires parallel innovation by the cybersecurity sector to ensure the security of these disruptive concepts that will forge our daily lives in the near or more distant future.
Innovation is driven by people. Cyber innovation means prioritising investment in human capital. Training and preparing future talents is essential. It is an absolute necessity if we want to be able to meet the challenges we face and design the world we want to live in and pass on to future generations.
We need to raise awareness among young people, attract students and help them understand the world around them. These steps are crucial in inventing the world to come. Innovation requires us to look forward, challenge ourselves, take risks and adapt continuously. Above all, it is a state of mind that must be cultivated and shared.
All these innovations will disrupt our daily lives. And new developments arouse mistrust as much as interest. The responsibility we bear to drive forward transparent innovation is thus all the greater. Innovative cybersecurity will be one of the pillars and guardians of the trust that will enable new tools and solutions to be accepted and adopted and new use cases to be developed.
Cybersecurity is already being combined with 5G, algorithms and very soon artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It must therefore be based on strong ethical values shared across Europe, relating particularly to data, its use and its protection. Europe is heavily involved in these questions. We must capitalise on this vision and this approach, which marks us out from our competitors.
The human factor thus takes its rightful place once again, because it is up to humans to design innovative, ethical algorithms and software for the future. Tomorrow’s technology depends on what humans will make of it. Design ethics, usage ethics and societal ethics must guide future cyber innovation.
As well as human capital, innovation, and especially disruptive innovation, requires investment in research and development. If we want to achieve our ambitions, making France a land of cybersecurity and Europe the source of a third way, we must allocate the resources to get there.
This funding should irrigate the network of SMEs that carry capacity for innovation and agility in their hearts. Tomorrow’s cybersecurity also needs to be viewed through the lens of cooperation and co-creation. Its fabric in France is rich and dense, but too scattered. We need to come together to co-innovate. Without this, we will end up suffocating among our peers.
This coming together must of course include start-ups, SMEs and major groups. Each level represents a link in the chain that will enable us to achieve our collective goals. While our start-ups and SMEs drive innovation, they need the power and strength of the major groups to scale up and address important markets.
The Cyber Campus, scheduled to open in France in 2021, is a very valuable opportunity. With the aim of defining a new centre of gravity for cybersecurity and digital trust in France and Europe by gathering together and uniting start-ups, SMEs, industrial companies in cybersecurity and digital technology, state services, research laboratories, users, training companies and venture capital, the project comes at just the right time.
The national Campus could result in complementary initiatives in the regions in order to capitalise on the strengths of France’s territories, and it will consolidate French ambition to reinforce Europe’s role and sovereignty in terms of cybersecurity. In concrete terms, it will encourage sharing and the emergence of innovative solutions created jointly at all levels.
Israel, which aims to become the world leader in IT security according to its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not hesitated to invest massively in its human capital. It has created the Cyber Net ecosystem, which acts as a kind of “social network”, connecting government agencies and private companies. Regulation is needed, but Israel intends to be flexible: “We must not suffocate the sector with excessive regulation,” Benjamin Netanyahu has declared.
According to figures released by the Israeli government, 40 Israeli IT security firms raised a total of $850 million in the first half of 2019, compared with a total of $1.1 billion in all of 2018. Over the same period, they recorded seven exits with a total value of $1.5 billion.
In the past year, the United States devoted $29 billion of their federal budget to cyber. The amount in Europe, calculated by totalling the investment of all the member states, is estimated at €3 billion. The clear lack of investment in European cyber technologies is real, and undoubtedly acts as a brake on our ability to innovate and thus our sovereignty and strategic autonomy. It is time to act and to take the steps appropriate to the reality of the digital revolution.
Innovation in digital technology is a factor in wealth creation and a means of designing new solutions for sustainable development, a more collaborative economy and more inclusive social models. In this way, cyber innovation to support trusted digital development could be an opportunity to give meaning to a promising, buoyant future!