Research axes of the Security and Defense Team

Axis 1 : Terrorism(s)/Counterterrorism, Radicalisation/Resocialisation

A Revolution In Terrorism Affairs (to use a famous expression concerning the renewal of military strategies) has occurred in recent years. Although it went almost unnoticed in the noise of the bombs, it has changed almost everything in the fight against what is primarily a criminal activity. Read more

Axis 2 : Cybersecurity, Cybercriminality, Cyberdefense (C3)

The consequent rise in cyber attacks over the period 2008-2017 raises the issue of the cost of maintaining an operational environment for the digital economy, which could ultimately threaten the growth and sustainability of industries that depend on IT infrastructures. Targeted attacks (Advanced Persistent Threats) have been on the rise since 2010: 40% annual growth, with 20% of affected companies reporting financial damage (KCS-CERT 2012 & PWC 2011) and more than 50% of incidents (intrusion, deterioration, espionage) affecting energy industries (nuclear, oil) and state infrastructures. Read more

Axis 3 : New financial criminalities

In the face of terrorist or criminal acts, the understanding of financing channels, while it does not solve everything, usually makes it possible to trace the culprits and/or dismantle the network responsible for criminal acts that are likely to be repeated. In some cases, the ex ante detection of "abnormal" financial movements even allows to anticipate and prevent crimes and attacks. The advent of crypto-currency, while it holds many promises of financial inclusion, transactional efficiency and cost savings (for both individuals and institutions), is also presenting risks. On the one hand, critics of these new technology packages argue that these systems, most often pseudonymous, encourage criminal acts such as money laundering and illegal trafficking. Read more

Axis 4 : Major Organized Crime and emerging Criminalities

There is no systematic link between economic crises and the rise of crime, and there is even evidence that the 1930s were rather "peaceful" years in terms of criminal activity. However, by weakening states, periods of recession, if they do not lead (as in Roosevelt's time) to the return of public power, are logically favourable to the development of organized crime, and in particular to mafias. How could it be otherwise? The mafias are in fact very sophisticated secret societies that constitute what could be called "the aristocracy of crime". Thanks to the financial power they have at their disposal - which can amount to billions of dollars, although one must be careful about the amounts often mentioned (these are only estimates, "black figures") - they represent major threats to legal powers, becoming today a central issue in geo-strategic thinking. Read more

Axis 5 : Modeling and probabilistic models for Security

The detection of behavioural anomalies can be approached, in a probabilistic method, by the constitution of models that one wishes to be falsifiable (in the sense of Karl Popper) and presenting a satisfactory statistical reliability. One can imagine that for a given individual, the environment of the behavioural data that characterizes him at a given moment, both in the real world and in the online world, has been entered "into the model": the model performs a series of calculations. The result of these calculations is then used to propose the existence of a behavioural anomaly of this individual at this moment. Read more

Axis 6 : Transformative Research and Socio-Economic Assessment Methodology in Terrorism and Crime

The treatment of terrorism and criminology issues presents, or may present, at least two common cross-cutting needs. The first (I) is to have an operational management methodology a their disposal for, on the one hand, measuring the costs of terrorist and criminal phenomena for society (or for the victim organisation in question) that are partly hidden, i.e. poorly or not at all understood by traditional information systems, and, on the other hand, measuring the gains (also often hidden) generated by the actions envisaged and then implemented to reduce them. For example, what are the costs of religious radicalisation and what are the gains generated by the actions envisaged to deal with them? The second (II), insofar as the criminal sciences are experimental sciences, to master the methodological and epistemological principles of so-called transformative research methodologies, i.e. those that produce scientific knowledge from practices in the field. For example, how can one transform into scientific material the observations that a specialist in intelligence or counter-terrorism action has been able to make from his/her professional practice? Read more

Axis 7 : Innovation dynamics in Security and Defense matters

Security threats and defense must be analysed from an innovation perspective. Innovation is first and foremost about technology. Information and communication technologies are two-sided. On the one hand, they facilitate coordination at the most basic level: an action can be coordinated in a few minutes by exchanging e-mails, text messages or via social networks. On the other hand, however, these technologies play a decisive role in large-scale military action in the form of systems of systems that make it possible to coordinate sophisticated weapons systems in new configurations. Technological innovation both prompts and calls for organizational innovation at the same time. Terrorist groups that have operated in recent years have taken on various organizational forms that require reactive and proactive organizational changes coming from the agencies responsible for countering them. Read more