The first dedicated cyber security training centre

Both national security and personal security have become a challenge for the digital age. Many different organisations are engaged in a permanent security effort. But the question of how to mobilise defence and security forces is a hot topic in its own right. Moreover, the French government has set up this first centre dedicated to training “reservists” to take action in response to a major attack. The Nancy Metro Area and the city’s Military Defence Base have signed an agreement. 

According to Colonel Jean-Marc Régnier, commanding officer of the Nancy Defence Base, the aim is “using the deployment of collective intelligence to enhance the resilience of the region’s businesses, vital national interests, military facilities and public sector institutions”.

 

How can institutions and companies be protected from massive cyber-attacks?

There is a network of three research labs specialised in cybersecurity issues:

  • CISPA (Centre for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability)
  • CNAM
  • Telecom Nancy (Lorraine University)

This alliance will be developing a range of bespoke training modules. Nevertheless, simulations remain an essential tool to enhance the relevant staff’s expertise.

Cyber-Range

The new centre will therefore be equipped with a cyber-attack simulator developed by Airbus CyberSecurity by 2018, the Cyber Range. Mobile cabinet formed, the simulation centre is the ideal way to train cyber teams with different scenarios: incident response, risk analysis and forensic analysis (i.e., analysing an IT system after an incident). It will encourage participants to engage in “learning by doing.”

From digital warfare

At the opening ceremony of the company’s new premises in Rennes, Frédéric Julhes, Director of Airbus CyberSecurity France, stressed the fact the expertise of the division is compounded of 700 employees and generates 16% of the Airbus Group’s revenue. He also focused on four lines of business:

  • Prevention
  • Protection
  • Identification
  • Response

“The aim is to counter the most dangerous attacks, which are frequently highly sophisticated.” Working in partnership with a number of universities and centres of expertise in France, the primary aim is to enhance skill levels through training. Frédéric Julhes confirmed that “We install training platforms, which these future engineers can use to engage in simulations, playing the roles of attackers or defenders. It’s a bit like a video game over a giant network, except that the aim is to prepare for threats that are all too real.”

To an expert of cyber force

To start,  the first task force (25 experts) has completed the exercises to detect and identify cyber-attacks. Then, the Nancy centre aims to train a 400-strong civilian reserve force. Finally, in a second phase of the collaborative project, “The cybersecurity centre will specialise in specific national security topics, namely the healthcare and financial sectors,” clarified Véronique Legrand, Tenured Professor of Information Security at CNAM.

Thanks to civilian and military experts, top universities and private sector experts can work together for national security interests. These are individuals at the cutting edge of the latest, most advanced cybersecurity technologies. France has deep expertise in both areas, which should provide some reassurance faced to increasingly virulent and unpredictable attacks nowadays.

 

To read also : Emmanuel Macron calls for trust and security in cyberspace