A small demonstration that cybersecurity is a national priority
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For the first time, France’s military cyber command marched in this year’s Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, alongside other units in the nation’s armed forces. The military noted that it’s a recognition of the advances that the unit has made since its formation last year, and reinforces that “cyber defense remains a national priority.”
French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the formation of COMCYBER in December 2016, noting that the emergence of state actors operating in cyberspace was a new way to approach warfare. The command brought all of the nation’s soldiers focused on cyber defense under one command, with three main tasks: cyber intelligence, protection, and offense.
The timing of the creation of the command is no coincidence: it came after widespread allegations from the United States that Russia had intervened in the 2016 Presidential election. Yesterday, those allegations gained some additional credibility as a grand jury issued incitements against 12 Russians, claiming that they had carried out cyberattacks to undermine the country’s election infrastructure.
The recognition that France’s COMCYBER has received by being permitted to march in the parade alongside the rest of the country’s armed forces is a notable example of the seriousness to which its taking the issue, as officials warn that countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea remain a threat to the US and other nations’ digital infrastructure.