French Cyber Security and Defence: An Overview

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Procon Ltd., Volume 32, Issue 1, p.29-41 (2015)


ANSSI, Cyber defence, Cybersecurity, cyberterrorism, cyberwar, defence and security policy, France


As threats to and in cyber space as well as the threats enabled by cyber space have burgeoned, cybersecurity and defence has emerged as a key policy area for governments around the world. For a long time, France has lagged behind its main strategic partners in these areas. However, in the recent years, the country has undertaken considerable efforts to catch up, leading to conceptual reformulation, organisational reforms, and substantial increases in resources. This article provides an overview of the conceptual basis for French cybersecurity and defence policies, the most important elements of its organisational set-up, and recent cyber efforts and initiatives. The article does not claim to be exhaustive, but aims to provide a starting point for structuring related research. While many French ministries and agencies are involved in cybersecurity, this article focuses on the efforts of the National Information Systems Security Agency (L'Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information, ANSSI) and the ministries of defence and interior – the actors most heavily involved in French cybersecurity and defence.