Sophie Viger, director of school 42: “The French are poorly trained on IT risks”

Sophie Viger, director of school 42: “The French are poorly trained on IT risks”

Sophie Viger, director of school 42. DR – DR

An essential subject in today's daily life, cybersecurity is the subject of a study by School 42 with the Opinionway institute. How aware are citizens of these risks ? Sophie Viger, director of school 42, gives the outline of the study.

According to Anssi, computer attacks against individuals jumped by 400% in 2023. A significant figure which led the Opinionway Institute and School 42 (present in Perpignan) to publish a study on the subject. "This topic has become major throughout society. According to the UN, a cybersecurity attack occurs every 29 seconds worldwide. Nevertheless, we wondered if there was an awareness that existed among people or not. What was ultimately the degree of awareness of the French population regarding this notion of cybersecurity risk ?" explains Sophie Viger, director of school 42.

If a large majority of French people are concerned about the subject (thus, 76% of them declare having installed an antivirus on their personal computer, as well as 46% on their telephone), 68% of them declare themselves overwhelmed by the speed of technological progress. "This feeling obviously creates flaws, since when you are not in control, obviously, making mistakes is easier. A frequently used connected object, such as the connected fridge, in itself represents a fragility on the network."

Artificial intelligence and fake news, potential threats

The omnipresence of technology in our daily lives doesn't make things easy. Thus, regarding artificial intelligence, 58% of respondents feel particularly helpless in the face of the technology of "deep fakes". In addition, 46% of them do not feel equipped to combat false information, disseminated via “fake news”. A subject of concern as the elections approach. Despite these reservations, 75% of internet traffic occurs particularly on smartphones, traffic on which 90% of internet users are aware of the risks involved. A figure which drops to 77% among 18-24 year olds.

"Young people very easily leave doors open, particularly on social networks, on which they easily share their personal data. As these young people will evolve in a digital world, it is imperative that they are aware of the dangers. Thus, it is obvious that the latter must be trained fairly early in computer science in general. In order to help them understand what the issues are, why information can be modified, truncated, why we do not share our personal information, etc."

Even stronger threats in business

Issues whose consequences are worsening with regard to cybercrime against businesses. Several recent examples have completely blocked the activity of certain structures. According to the Cisco Sytems report in 2021, more than half (54%) of American SMBs were victims of a cyberattack. In France, a ransom attack from Franco-Russian hackers blocked the activity of the Corbeil-Essonne Hospital for three months.

"In general, a structure victim of a cyberattack files for bankruptcy within 18 months. Cybercriminals take advantage of our inadequacies, and remember that human errors are often the cause of major security flaws", especially since the ;study reveals that 61% of French people surveyed use their personal computer for professional purposes.


OpinionWay study for 42: survey carried out among a sample of 1,023 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over constituted according to the quota method, with regard to the criteria of sex, age, socio-professional category, urban area category and region of residence. The interviews took place via self-administered online questionnaire and the results analyzed during the 3rd quarter of 2023. Survey 42: survey carried out in the 1st semester of 2023 with a sample of 402 students and alumni of 42 in Paris and analyzed during the 3rd quarter of 2023.

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