Our Infrastructure is still very Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks
The recent global cyber-attacks that crippled services such as hospitals, railways networks or the automobile industry in Europe demonstrated the extreme vulnerability of our infrastructure and businesses. But the worse may be yet to come. Already at the beginning of this year many experts recalled that transport networks across Europe, in particular flights and trains, were becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They pointed out that we all increasingly rely on online technologies. As a result our critical infrastructure such as energy grids, satellite communications, healthcare systems but also financial markets have become highly exposed to cyber-attacks. It should also be stressed that already in 2007, exactly 10 years ago, the EU was debating on an action programme to better protect the European critical infrastructure.These discussions referred to 100 critical infrastructure protection projects and were targeted at energy and transport sectors. But the slowness of the process and the difficulty of implementing such a programme have encouraged hackers and those who support and willingly harbor these groups to intensify their actions. And of course the next step could be a major attack against national critical infrastructure which would obviously weaken, if not cripple a country's ability to function.In fact a complete chaos! Given the fundamental importance of this issue we should spend much more to combat these digital attacks. The UK has committed £1.9 billion over the next 5 years to enhance its cybersecurity defenses. France plans to invest more than €1 billion over the next 3 years. And the EU launched in 2016 a new public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger €1.8 billion of investment by 2020. Today, hackers inspired by political or criminal motivations still feel comfortable in our hyper connected societies.