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the French defense is expanding its troops with cyber-fighters

Faced with the recent increase in cyber attacks, as well as their seriousness, the Ministry of the Armed Forces has revised upwards its recruitment targets in cyber defense. He plans to hire “770 cyber-combatants in addition to the 1,100 initially planned” by 2025, Florence Parly announced Wednesday, September 8.

While France has had a military cyber defense command (named “Comcyber”) since 2017, the 2019-2025 military programming law (LPM) already provided for a budget of 1.6 billion euros for cyber defense and recruitment. 1,100 additional cyber fighters to reach a workforce of 4,000 people. Gold “Given the multiplication and seriousness of cyber attacks, I have decided to step up recruitments”, said the minister at the Lille International Cybersecurity Forum.

Read our file: Ransomware attacks: authorities try to contain the surge

“From a new area of ​​conflict, today we are wondering about the existence of a “Gcold wandering in cyberspace, she worried. Thereby, “The Ministry of the Armed Forces will recruit 770 cyber-combatants in addition to the 1,100 initially planned” to reach 5,000 people in 2025 within the armed forces, the general armament department (DGA) and the French foreign intelligence service (DGSE), she said, recalling France’s ambition to become “A champion of cybersecurity”.

“The” cyber “weapon in support” of military operations

Data theft and ransomware attacks have increased in recent months around the world. Various companies and administrations were the targets – including an American pipeline operator, a meat packing company, the Irish public health service computer system and even a large Indian airline. At the end of 2020, a gigantic cyberattack in the United States had affected Microsoft’s servers and compromised the Orion software of the American firm SolarWinds, used for the management and supervision of computer networks of large companies or administrations.

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The issue also has a military dimension, recalled Parly by announcing that France intends to organize a forum in January bringing together those responsible for cyber-command from the twenty-seven member states of the European Union.

“The Ministry of the Armed Forces has missions and challenges (…) that require us to use the “cyber” weapon in support of our operations. Our adversaries are not deprived of it, whether they are state powers, terrorist groups or their supporters. “ On the ground of the operation “Barkhane”, in the Sahel, which mobilizes more than 5,000 French soldiers and must be deeply redesigned in the coming months, a ” recently [été] noted[e] an increase in attacks ”, notably affirmed the minister.

Difficulties in recruiting cyberspecialists

The announcement of these additional recruitments within cyber defense “Demonstrates an awareness of the increasing vulnerability of our societies” facing the risk of attacks in this area “And the need to face it and to act”, commented Aude Géry, researcher at the French Institute of Geopolitics. France wants to show “That it is there, that it has the means and that it will defend its strategic interests”. The question now is where do “Go recruiting, towards the defensive or towards the offensive”, at the risk in the latter case of maintaining a certain escalation in digital conflict, according to the expert.

For the Ministry of the Armed Forces, meeting these ambitious recruitment targets will be a challenge, while cyberspecialists are sorely lacking in the job market despite efforts to open new training courses. Specialized private companies, which are in a market that is growing by 10% per year on average, are struggling to find the staff they need despite financial conditions that are often more advantageous than in the public sector.

Read the interview: Guillaume Poupard: “Cybercrime has an impact on national security”

For the “Comcyber” in any case, recruitment was not a major problem. ” until now “, thanks to the attraction for missions in the service of the national interest, assured Wednesday the General Philippe de Montenon, number two of the cyber command, during a round table organized at the International Forum of the cybersecurity of Lille.

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