Expert and lecturer in Cyberstrategy for the Business & Finance School of Strasbourg, founding member of the francophone strategic-thinking group Echo RadaЯ and owner of the blog “Cyberstrategy East-West”, Yannick Harrel is the author of many works on the field of Cyberstrategy and Geopolitics on behalf of various journals and institutes.
He was awarded in 2011 by the National Prize “Admiral Marcel Duval”, from the French National Defense magazine.
He worked for an IT pioneer company specialized in optic fiber and its deployment on the french territory. His handbook “Economic and Financial Cyberstrategies”, which became a reference, was updated and republished in September 2014. He participated in the launch of the Master of Cyber Defence in the military school of Saint-Cyr.
He also participated, at the invitation of the Council of Europe, to the first two editions of the World Forum for Democracy on contemporary digital issues. His last work published in 2016 is focused on the future of the automotive area, affected by the new technologies of information,communication and control: Automobiles 3.0. He participated in the European ICT Spring 2016 in Luxemburg to present the situation and perspectives beside main actors of the sector.
Accustomed to the Russian world and its ‘near abroad’, in partnership with the University of Strasbourg, he studied in Moscow and then in Veliky Novgorod, before working in Saint-Petersburg. Thanks to his experience, he has developed his researches within the Russian Cyberstrategy, writing the first francophone book on this topic, released in March 2013.
Russian Cyberia, myth and reality
When late July 2016 the non-governmental organization Wikileaks revealed in public nearly 20,000 e-mails that demonstrated the partiality of the US Democratic Party during the presidential election process, the victims pointed out the Kremlin for interference by cyber attack.
The reality is more nuanced. It involves to discern truly the real capabilities of Russia being a major actor in cyberoperations through its cyber-foundations. And therefore, to understand its own cyberstrategy. Because cyberspace is based on a civilizational approach, and every major player apprehends it according to its history, its institutions and its ‘field experience’.
And in the second time, to explain why attribution is often very difficult. Hence the political explanation substitutes when the technique can’t pronounce with certainty.
Russia shares with China the status of ‘Bad Boy’ of cyberspace. However, cyberspace is not only a world ‘painted’ in black and white, as well as recurring frictions in this area can make way for circumstantial alliances.