1. International conflicts are played out onlineSome even go as far as to call it the Third World War: a cyberwar where mice and keyboards have become the weapon of choice. And on the front line of this war is Europol, the European agency for law enforcement, which works tirelessly to fight malicious attacks orchestrated by governments. Russia, China, USA, Israel, Iran, North Korea: they all possess cyber armies capable of thwarting cyberattacks and undermining rivals through data theft or mass paralysis of IT systems. But state entities and public organisations are not the only targets; large companies and SMEs are also at the mercy of cybersabotage and cyberespionage from foreign forces. While multinationals may be susceptible targets, their tougher cybersecurity defences make them less vulnerable than France’s 3.1 million small- and medium-sized businesses.
The American Cloud Act and Patriot Act: a risk of sensitive data leaks
2. Cyberespionnage is legal in AmericaManaged services are the norm for SMEs. Lacking the necessary internal resources, most businesses with under 50 employees outsource their IT operations to a service provider. And (very) often, these providers are based in California’s Silicon Valley. And while we’re in no way questioning the integrity of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco or IBM, it is important to bear in mind that because they are American, they are subject to US law. And over the pond, computer espionage has been legalised through the Patriot Act, adopted by Washington the day after 9/11, and the Cloud Act, passed in 2018. In the name of national security, the American government has given itself the right to access the data of French companies hosted by American SaaS providers, even if the servers aren’t located on American soil. Our SMEs are thus at a much greater risk of seeing their sensitive data leaked.
3. Economic patriotism for digital sovereigntyThe Cybersecurity Act adopted by the European parliament in 2019 embraces a whole different philosophy, with zero ambiguity with regard to respecting personal data. Following in the wake of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it restricts the storage and use of customers’ and leads’ data. In a similar vein, the French government is currently working on building its own Cloud, in a bid to protect itself from cyberespionage from America and China (through the controversial Huawei). While Europe may struggle to hold its own in the online world, France has no shortage of assets and boasts a thriving ecosystem of innovative startups and influential groups. In order for the sector and digital sovereignty to flourish, French businesses need to demonstrate a healthy dose of economic patriotism, which will lead to a virtuous cycle where everyone wins.
Virtuous technology that is exclusively European
4. Ethical practicesRooted in the belief that sensitive data is as precious as gold, CyberProtection 360° is a French solution built exclusively from trusted French and European technology:
- F-Secure for anti-malware. The Finnish company have been experts in virus and malware protection for over 30 years.
- Vade Secure for secure emails. This French developer is the world leader in predictive email defence.