Dr Florent Frederix: Case study

at European Commission (DG Connect)

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Principal Administrator, DG Connect, European Commission

My CSaP Policy Fellowship brought with it access to networks and knowledge not available anywhere else, impacting upon research topics and providing a fresh perspective on cyber security policy.

As Principal Administrator of the Trust and Security Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), my work focuses on developing an industrial cyber security strategy for Europe, alongside a responsibility for research and innovation projects in the domain of cyber security.

The future of cyber security

The security of society-critical services (such as electricity) against cyber-attacks is a key part of DG Connect’s work, with the forthcoming Network Information Security Directive dictating that society-critical services need to ensure that their services are cyber-secure. The Cambridge Judge Business School is engaged in risk assessment studies that analyse the impact a cyber-attack can have on for society-critical services; these studies can act as a repository of evidence when planning future actions to ensure the cyber security of society-critical services.

As well as policy issues, DG Connect is involved in funding research into cyber security issues to ensure we are able to meet the demands of the future. The research carried out at the state-of-the-art Computer Laboratory in Cambridge is without doubt the best place in the world to give visitors a preview of what the future will bring on cyber security. Having access to the views of the staff at this lab will have an impact on the topics of cyber security research that we will call for as part of Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever.

Open-minded approach to policy making”

My own perspective on how to tackle certain policy issues has also been strongly influenced while in Cambridge, with the inspiring views of the University of Cambridge staff on a number of legal, society and engineering topics being more than refreshing. For example, when I was invited to present the EU policy towards the connected car, the expansive thinking demonstrated by several seminar attendees was very useful, such as suggesting that a connected car could “implement climate targets, such as energy efficient driving” or “suggest a park and ride stop to avoid dense city traffic". This open-minded approach to policy making will certainly add value to EU policy making processes.

Future engagement with academics and the wider CSaP network will no doubt continue to pay dividends. For instance, the Policy Fellowship brought with it access to the Cambridge Cluster network of spin-offs involved in cyber security . I invited companies in the Cambridge Cluster active in the domain of cyber security, considered by many to be the world’s best, to join the European Public Private Partnership on Cyber security. I hope that some of the entrepreneurial spirit found at these companies will be inspirational for other innovators in Europe.

CSaP made access to researchers at the University of Cambridge possible, and tailored the programme to my specific needs, granting knowledge not available elsewhere, even in this age of information. This network of University of Cambridge contacts is much appreciated today and will remain so long after the end of my fellowship.