In the light of the current health crisis, it was no longer possible to hold the FIC in June. As a result, we have decided to postpone the event for the third time — to 7, 8 and 9 September 2021. While we can still hope for an improvement in the health situation by then, a feeling of triple emergency also motivated our decision to hold an “in-person” FIC in 2021.
First, an operational emergency. The cyber threat level has never been so high. Cybercriminals no longer shy away from attacking hospitals. Traffickers are secretly fuelling a real digital arms trade. Increasingly confident states are carrying out offensive operations, while taking advantage of the anonymity provided by networks and the absence of international regulation. As the response to these threats can only be collective and collaborative, the FIC 2021 agenda emphasises — very much like the cyber campuses that are currently being created — “collective and collaborative security”: standards of behaviour, exchange of information, public-private partnerships, etc. Numerous partner events will also take place during the FIC: the ID FORUM, on digital identity issues; Cybersecurity For Industry (CFI), the E-Customer Protection Forum on the fight against illegal e-commerce; and CORIIN, the CECyF conference on digital investigation.
Second, an economic emergency. The digital transition is one of the keys to recovery. But without extra security and confidence, the lock is likely to seize up. This explains why the French government announced the Cybersecurity Plan, which sets a budget of more than one billion euros in funding over five years with two objectives: to triple the industry’s turnover (from 7 to 25 billion euros) and double the number of jobs. The FIC 2021 will therefore be all about “business” and “skills”, with even more opportunities for meetings between suppliers and end-users. It will also include the first edition of the European Cyber Cup (EC2), intended to promote security skills and make “cyber” jobs more attractive.
And finally, a strategic emergency. The Covid crisis has highlighted Europe’s strong dependencies, particularly in the digital field. Confronted with the emerging Sino-American duopoly, Europe must therefore defend its own interests. The future French Presidency of the European Union, or FPEU (January to June 2022), is from this point of view not only a unique opportunity, but also a necessity. This is why the FIC has set up a few weeks ago a working group, co-chaired by General (2S) Marc Watin-Augouard, founder of the FIC, and Guillaume Klossa, former special advisor to the European Commission for digital affairs, which will present its suggestions for the FPEU in September. Europe will be the focus of attention at the FIC 2022 (which will take place, for once, in June) with the theme of “Europe as a power in the digital arena”.
Guillaume Tissier, for the FIC Organisation Team