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The world can only go round if nobody hacks the system

Can a car, a train, a plane, a satellite, but also a company, administration, or an army be "hacked"? Can they too be victims of a cyber attack? Can they be hijacked or paralysed?


So could these entities protect themselves against such attacks? And how? These were some of the questions Thales wanted to answer on the occasion of their first Media Day, organised in Vélizy Paris on Wednesday 11th April.

Why this priority given to cybersecurity? For a simple and almost obvious reason: cybersecurity is the sine qua non for our personal wellbeing, the smooth functioning of our day-to-day lives. More generally, it is the foundation of our collective peace of mind in our personal and professional activities.


Our wellbeing under cyber threat

Let's take a concrete example. In the morning, many of us, usually early enough, reach to check our smartphone. We read news on our social networks, we check our favourite media, or we glance at the weather report, or at messages received during the night from that friend or relative who lives halfway around the world. A little later, we use our car’s on-board computer almost without being aware of it. Then, all day long, we operate work tools, small or large, all connected to the Internet. And finally we return to our home, itself increasingly equipped with connected objects, from the television, to the refrigerator, and the lighting of the rooms.

Not for a moment have we thought of the growing connectivity that surrounds us and that conditions our daily wellbeing. Or have we considered that, because of its connectivity to the web, that it is under constant threat of attack from increasingly seasoned pirates, who are poised to derive immense economic and/or strategic benefits by disrupting the economic and political systems in which we evolve.

Hence the state of awe, paralysis and panic in which employees of companies and administrations around the world found themselves for days in May 2017, victims of the WannaCry ransomware attack.




A cyber panoply to protect each of us

The magnitude of this threat, which obviously exceeds the capabilities of basic protections and is growing at the same rate as the digital transformation of the world, is the reason why Thales has developed a suite of cyber security solutions and services offering a unique level of protection, threat understanding and responsiveness. Combined with inhouse big data and Artificial Intelligence technologies, those cybersecurity solutions are able to monitor ever massive volumes of data in real time and detect attacks of knowed threats but also unknowned ones due to anomalous or unusual behavior patterns analysis.

Let’s review them some of them that were showcased at the Thales Media Day

  • The new Cyberlab in Belgium is used to replicate the networks and IT systems of enterprise customers and Governments as realistically as possible, to test their resistance to the latest forms of cyberattack.
  • The Cybels Sensor probe is designed to detect cyberattacks on all types of IT system. Its algorithms use artificial intelligence to spot zero-day attacks and continuously improve its detection capabilities.
  • The CipherTrust Cloud Key Manager makes managing encryption keys simpler. Through an easy-to-use web interface, organisations can stay in control of their cloud estate.
  • The PikeOS operating system enables the building of smart devices for the Internet of Things, all according to the quality, safety and security standards of your industry.
  • The ATCyber provides a range of activities from protection to active defence. It offers efficient solutions to Air Navigation Services Providers for preventing, managing and reducing cyber-risk.

These solutions are all based on Thales’ triple-A approach (Active, Adaptive, Always Learning). They allow connected systems set up by companies and governments to be "secure by design". They confront potential attackers with a defensive capacity, not only repelling them, but deterring them.

Thales’ cyber defence panoply, mainly known to cybersecurity experts, in fact benefits each of us, citizens, companies, administrations. We are the happy beneficiaries.



As Patrice Caine, CEO of Thales, remarked at the conclusion of Media Day, "the world of tomorrow, in which technology will constantly improve our wellbeing, will only run if no-one comes to hack into the system."