Posted 9 Dez. 2019

European Cyber Week takes off !

Laurent Halimi blog profile image

By Laurent Halimi

For its 4th edition which was held from 19 to 21 November at the Convent of the Jacobins of Rennes, the European Cyber Week welcomed nearly 3,700 participants, around twenty events gathered in one. 14 countries were also represented, demonstrating the European scope of this event, organized notably by the cyber pole of excellence, with the support of the Ministry of armies, the Brittany region and Rennes Métropole. Back to the main highlights of this edition.

"We are objectively very happy with the qualitative and quantitative return of the event, both at the level of the programs and the visitation," stresses Damien Bégoc, head of mission, DGNUM. "We welcomed nearly 3,700 visitors for this 4th edition, which represents an increase of 70% compared to last year. 14 countries were also represented this year, which fully demonstrates the European scope of the event. We have also doubled the number of partners in 2019 and created a dedicated start-up village."

The European Cyber Week is a series of one-on-one meetings, addressing different themes in the cyber field, from institutional, industrial, academic, research and innovation perspectives. Among these various events, several are already well established, starting with the C&ESAR days, organized since 1997 by the Ministry of the armies, and on which the European Cyber Week came to be grafted 4 years ago. In addition to two C&ESAR days dedicated to the themes "virtualization and cybersecurity" and " cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence ", DGA and MINARM have decided to organize this year in addition a new symposium dedicated to the application of AI to Defense. This conference will be held on a permanent basis. The two events (Journées C&ESAR and "La & Défense") will also be accredited next year as "vocational training", and will therefore be able to register as part of continuing training.

Other major events today well established within the framework of the ECW, to name just a few : the Parliamentary meetings of the digital security, organized by Garnault Associés, the conference "Cyber Valleys", carried notably by the Brittany region and BDI, the recruitment Forum, organized by Eden Forums, the challenge CTF students, under the aegis of the cyber pole of Excellence, Airbus Cybersecurity, Thales, the Brittany region and the Ministry of the Army, etc.

Cyber pitches : Harfang Lab receives jury Award, Glims Audience Award

In addition to these events, several other highlights, initiated for the first time this year, have punctuated this edition. Among them, Damien Bégoc highlights first of all the session of "Cyber pitches", set up in collaboration with Destination Rennes, and especially Adrien Savary, responsible for the economic attractiveness.

Some 20 young companies were represented this year: 4CYSEC, Acklio, CYBER-DETECT, Dawizz, Glims, HackerOne, HarfangLab, Hogo, KeoPass, LORCYBER, Montimage, N-Soft, OneWave, Quarkslab, risk'n Tic, Rubycat-Labs, SECURESPHERE, Swascan, Yagaan, Yes We Hack, Yogosha. Through a Cyber pitching session of 5 minutes each, industrialists, investors, principals... were able to discover what each of these start-ups offers in terms of cyberdefense or cybersecurity. At the end of these presentations, two prizes were awarded this year, one by the jury* ; the other by the public :
 Harfang Lab has received the jury award : this young company is developing an Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) to detect, track down and neutralise persistent threats ;
 Glims received the public Award for its AI-based technology that detects, assigns and analyzes emerging threats. This start-up is the first to have been chosen to be hosted in the Cyberdefense Factory, inaugurated by the Minister of Defence, Florence Parly, on October 3.

"Given the interest of the public and participants in this Cyber pitching session, we will repeat the operation next year," said Damien Bégoc.

High school students meet digital security professionals

Another new feature of this edition is a conference for young people: "Digital Security and school orientations: challenges and perspectives ". This round table, bringing together academics and professionals from the sector, and moderated by Philippe Leroy, a cyber centre of excellence, aimed to strengthen the attractiveness of the field and to present perspectives in all the professions of today and tomorrow. This conference brought together more than 150 people and enabled students from the region, from secondary schools and from the beginning of Higher Education (First, senior, DUT, BTS...), to discover digital studies and careers..

The aim of this approach, which will also be sustained in the years to come, is to arouse the interest of young people, and to promote vocations towards the digital and security sectors, which today suffer from a shortage of talent.

Sekoia wins IA & Cyber Challenge

Every year since its creation, a CTF Challenge is organized as part of the ECW for students. For this 4th edition, the organization, under the aegis of the cyber pole of excellence, has wished to set up a second Challenge "IA & Cyber", in partnership with the companies Airbus, Amossys, Diateam and Thales, and with the support of the Ministry of the armies (DGA and COMCYBER).
This Challenge was open to everyone, on prior online registration, but limited in number of places. He assembled 10 teams of 5 people for this first edition. Their mission: to develop an artificial intelligence that will allow D-Day to automatically penetrate different computer architectures in order to recover the ultimate flag, a remote connection to the final target (reverse shell). The objective of the developments was to automate the sequence of steps according to the choices of each team: speed, discretion... The evaluation focused on the efficiency of the route to the final destination (flag) in constrained time.

Each team was given a test environment several weeks ago through an Online Cyber Range to develop their strategy and tactics. All of the unit vulnerabilities and operating revenues were pre-set: infrastructure, PiS and public methods of operation, as well as the angle of intervention, so that each team could focus its efforts on the modus operandi and its progression. The final took place during the ECW in two phases : a morning to allow each team to test themselves and make the final adjustments ; an afternoon to allow each team to show the effectiveness of its algorithms.
At the end of this final phase, the 3 Best "intelligences" (Sekoia, Settis and Sogeti) received the prizes and the congratulations of the jury. Sekoia and Settis got the same score (270), but the Sekoia team was the fastest and therefore comes out victorious in this first Challenge " IA & Cyber ".

The objectives of this challenge were multiple, explains Damien Bégoc : "to build the know-how in the field of AI, attract the talents and, on the technical level, begin to work together on these topics, while remaining pragmatic as regards the automatic learning and automation of pentest. This Challenge attracted university and industrial teams from all over France. It was a test, but the idea will be to perpetuate this "IA & Cyber" Challenge in the long term. This subject has also been identified by the government as part of the programme of investments for the future."


Cyber centre of excellence : a trusted circle for the industry

The European Cyber Week is also the ideal place for the Cyber pole of Excellence (PEC), the main organiser of the event, to take stock of its activities each year, take stock of the past year and define its future strategy. "The cyber pole of excellence is an entity created in 2014 by the Ministry of armies and the Regional Council of Brittany, aimed at enabling the decompartmentalization of the ecosystem built between the military, industrial, academic, research and innovation worlds. The cyber excellence Cluster represents the decompartmentalization of all these players in order to support the development of a cyber industry, " said Pierre-Arnaud Borrelly, general delegate of the cyber excellence Cluster. "Development takes time, but today we see the fruits of this decompartmentalization. The JEP now has more than 40 members (large groups, SMEs...), and represents a circle of confidence. We welcome actors who are French, the aim being to develop a French industry and a circle of confidence, but also to offer a cloister that allows everyone to share and test their innovations. »

In addition to the Federation of its members, the PEC also leads a dozen thematic working groups, depending on current and future work. Among the various works carried out in 2019 by the cyber pole of excellence, Pierre-Arnaud Borrelly cites :
- An important update of its repository : the adoption of a common language among all the actors is the basis of the decompartmentalization, hence the importance of this repository. This document is intended to be widely shared beyond the JEP, and will evolve based on feedback from all stakeholders. The common repository of the cyber pole of excellence can be downloaded here.
- The project of "digital mullasse": the platform CyberTrainingLabs-Academia, currently being tested, will eventually allow the sharing of online content and the pooling of courses and practical work. This platform will be open to the education community, the aim being to respond to training needs through the sharing of content, whether common or specific. Trainers and students alike will be able to use this platform, which will be fed as they progress. It can also promote CyberTraining, as it will allow the Organization of Cyber Range, in collaboration with the various members and partners of the PEC. Several aspects have yet to be defined, in particular as regards the arrangements for sharing and certifying content. This project, which is currently the subject of a dedicated working group, is expected to be operational in 2020.
- Talent shortages and HR needs are also a major issue in the cyber ecosystem today, which is why it is also the subject of a dedicated working group. These reflections aim to determine the different ways of training individuals in this field and also to know how to redirect and reconvert people towards these cyber profiles. The aim will be to set up a one-stop shop which will allow private, industrial and state actors to quickly find the training they need. Through this, the goal will also be to enable more rapid deployment of personnel to the cyber defence and cyber security professions.

More generally, the cyber pole of excellence will continue its actions in the coming months to evolve the cyber ecosystem, to foster innovation and value creation. "The PEC is now well established in Brittany, and membership is continuing. We will continue this dynamic at national and European level. Finally, we will continue our efforts in 2020 to help our members better identify with cyber defence and cyber security issues, " said Pierre-Arnaud Borrelly. The 5th European Cyber Week will be an opportunity to take stock of these actions.

Appointment from 17 to 19 November 2020 !

Finally, among the avenues of reflection under study for the ECW 2020, Damien Bégoc stresses " the desire to open up even more to young people and students. Another topic that will be highlighted next year is the place of women in the cyber ecosystem, and their interest in these topics. At both the French and European levels, a process of reflection on this issue is currently under way and will have to be strengthened. It is in our interest to focus on these issues, especially as the number of women working in this field has decreased. The aim will therefore be to make these professions more attractive. Seeing coding and computing as a living language is a path to be developed. Apart from the logical aspect, computer science is a language in its own right, which can therefore be of interest to everyone. "The European Cyber Week will also strengthen communication around the event next year, and will continue its Europeanization, in order to make it an essential date for the entire cyber ecosystem, be it breton, national or European.

Rendez-vous is set in 2020, from 17 to 19 November !