Editorial of Mrs Florence Parly, French Minister of Defense

2017 will have been a perfect demonstration of the need to tackle cyber security issues head on.

How many attacks were carried out? Today, we are no longer talking about cellphones that can be hacked after hours of hard work. Literally entire systems can be interrupted and disrupted. Hospitals, train stations, airports can be brought to a halt, thousands of computers, telephones and connected objects instantly changed into input terminals, cameras or microphones.

Digital technology advances in such leaps and bounds that it is permeating all facets of life, including some unforeseen ones. New information and communication technologies have revolutionized our daily lives and are permanently affecting our areas of operations, in our ranks as in those of our enemies. In our connected, even “hyper connected”, daily lives, we must therefore be all the more attentive and vigilant.

Behind these attacks, a new breed of fighter, sometimes organized, sometimes acting alone, but almost always unpunished.

The 2018 FIC’s theme is therefore particularly sensitive. Hyper-connectivity and resilience: two central themes for our security and defense today and in the future. I am happy to be a participant. Proud, as well, because, once again, the FIC is fully aware of the cyber security stakes at hand, and able to bring together the key international players.

France wishes to serve as a model in terms of cyber security. The Ministry of Defense is fully committed to this fight, whether in recruiting information warriors and reservists or leading research on issues of cyber security and sovereignty. The Ministry also promotes our companies and develops excellence workshops around these themes in our schools and universities.

Great vigilance goes hand in hand with the great opportunities new technologies have to offer. They hold major keys to progress, innovation and modernization for our military and country. Here again, the Ministry of Defense must lead the way. Digital technology is a major vehicle for modernizing the ministry and guaranteeing weapons efficiency and success in our missions.

We will rise up to the digital challenge. We have the full support of the defense community. Furthermore, the law for military programming and the strategic cyber review provide a solid foundation in our undertaking.

The 2018 FIC will give us the opportunity to talk and debate about these subjects together. I wish this tenth edition brilliant success.

Florence Parly