Thales opens its new cyberdefence establishment in Rennes

November 19th - Thales officially opened its new cyberdefence establishment at the La Courrouze development near Rennes, Brittany. Known as La Ruche (the hive), the new facility employs a staff of around 60. Thales's cybersecurity operations in Brittany date back to 1983 and are expanding rapidly, buoyed by the region's vibrant economy and the company’s growing involvement in digital technologies.

Thales is also a partner of the Cyber Excellence Cluster (Pôle d’Excellence Cyber) in Rennes. La Ruche is the company's second site at La Courrouze, where it opened a facility in 2017 with a staff of 100 dedicated to critical information systems and cybersecurity for enterprise customers.

La Ruche has adopted agile development methods and practices to meet the critical cyberdefence requirements of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, with a particular focus on co-innovation and rapid integration of new solutions into armed forces equipment. Thales engineers work closely with local start-ups, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and operational personnel, who are involved at every stage of the development process.

The teams at La Ruche work on cyberdefence projects in two areas:

  • Cybersecurity for air systems, in close cooperation with the DGA, based on an approach called CybAIR, which includes the use of artificial intelligence to conduct in-depth analysis of data flows to better protect military air operations.
  • Cyberdefence projects for the French armed forces cybersecurity command (COMCYBER). One Thales team at La Ruche specialises in vulnerability analysis and digital forensics. Another team is developing sovereign tools for defensive cyber operations designed in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

Some of the teams from the Ministry's Cyberdefence Factory work in the same building as La Ruche, and received a visit from Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, on 3 October 2019.

This new eco-friendly site is helping Thales to grow its business in a particularly dynamic sector of the regional economy. Twenty more people are set to join La Ruche by the end of 2019 and further job openings are planned for the future.