Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law

Head of Department: Yann Busnel
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The Department of Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law (SCRD) is situated on IMT Atlantique's Rennes Campus. It currently comprises of 25 permanent lecturers and researchers, over 20 post-doctoral students and contract engineers, and close to 40 doctoral students.

Its areas of activity cover all aspects of teaching and research in:
- network systems, including technologies for fixed and mobile networks and the Internet of Things.  In addition, the complex systems that make it possible to construct and secure the systems that support energy, industry, and cities and intelligent transport;
- cyber security, through reinforcing the security of complex systems, industries of the future and critical infrastructures;
- law and the economics of digital technology, particularly at the European and international level.


  • Research

Research activities in the department are currently spread across the following four teams: ADOPNET (Operator networks); OCIF (Internet of the Future); IRIS (Cyber Security), and SHS (Digital Law in Europe). These teams bring together lecturers and researchers from SRCD and other academic Computing  Departments which include: IMT Atlantique, the University of Rennes 1, the University of Western Brittany, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria), through the Research Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems (IRISA), LabSTICC and IODE laboratories. Some members of SRCD are also involved in two other research teams: E4SE (Enablers for Smarter Environments) and DIONYSOS (Performance analysis of networks), both belonging to IRISA.

        • ADOPNET: Advanced Technologies for Operated Networks

ADOPNET (Advanced Technologies for Operated Networks) contributes to the development of architectures, protocols, and control or metrology mechanisms for next generation networks. The goal of ADOPNET is to build networks that are flexible, adaptable, energy-efficient, secure, and capable of providing content on a large scale to very diverse types of terminals. ADOPNET specifically deals with the convergence of access networks, combining radio and optical technologies and adaptive content delivery mechanisms. The team has three main lines of research: content supply mechanisms, network control and metrology.

        • IRIS: Cyber security — Protection, defence and resilience of complex systems

Components, such as sensors and industrial robots, are increasingly directly or indirectly connected to the Internet. With this continuing expansion of cyberspace, security is at the heart of a range of challenges. The evaluation of weaknesses and threats is further complicated by the interwoven nature of these heterogeneous systems. These extend beyond the perimeter of IT systems to include, for example, Industrial Control Systems, Smart Grids, surveillance and supervision systems. The challenges involved are highlighted by the most recent French White Paper on Defense which characterises the area of cyber security as becoming a battlefield in its own right. In this context, the scientific objectives of the IRIS team are to improve and reinforce the security of complex systems including critical infrastructure, industrial control systems and cloud federations.

        • OCIF: Connected Objects and the Internet of the Future

The OCIF team conducts research on the Internet of Things. Their focus is on new algorithms, protocols and architectures for interconnecting objects to the Internet whereby sensor data is accessible via web protocols. Internet of Things technologies facilitate innovation, accelerating the spread of new applications, particularly for intelligent cities or Industry 4.0. The team's research has three fundamental strands: medium access and routing in dense, meshed networks, long-range access networks and the characterisation of wireless environments. The current application areas include the city and intelligent transport, smart grids (decentralised connected electric networks) and industries of the future.

        • DSN: Digital law and strategies

The team's work focuses on analysing the European and international legal environment in which digital technology is being developed. This ranges from networks, to content and services, and includes innovative applications. At the interface of law and technology, our approach combines concrete solutions with a forward-thinking perspective and with ethics at its core. Our research also sheds light on emerging societal, economic and managerial issues raised by the transition to digital technology, with an interest on urban network systems, particularly in developing nations.

        • E4SE and DIONYSOS

Some members of SRCD also belong to two more IRISA research teams : E4SE (Enablers for Smarter Environments) and DIONYSOS (Dependability, Interoperability and PerfOrmaNce analYsiS of netwOrkS).

        • The Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructures Chair

Supported by IMT Atlantique in cooperation with Télécom ParisTech and Télécom SudParis, along with eight industry partners (Airbus Defence and Space, Amossys, BNP Paribas, EDF, La Poste, Nokia, Orange et Société Générale) and the Brittany region, as part of the Pôle d'Excellence Cyber (a Hub for Internet Excellence), this chair contributes to the development, on an international level, of research and training activities in an area which has become a national priority. Research covers four themes: (1) advanced data analysis for cyber security, (2) definition of metrics for analysing security risks, (3) responding to multiple coordinated events and (4) data collection, generation and access for cyber security. Through the Cyber Cyber security systems (CyberSSI) initiative, we also contribute to security training and research activities as part of the plan of the Brittany regional council.

        • The Jean Monnet European Union and the Information Society Chair

This chair, assigned by the European Commission, has a twofold mission. It aims to consolidate IMT Atlantique's training programme on European law and the information society. A goal is to enable engineering students to develop in a wider international and multicultural context. The sharing of knowledge, particularly in business, provides different perspectives on the European approach to the regulation of digital technology. The issues covered by our research are wide-ranging, including: European regulation of the electronic communications market; European Internet and new media law; copyright in the information society; and protection of personal data and privacy in the context of cyber security and artificial intelligence projects.


  • Training

The Department of Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law delivers high quality training at all levels.

        • Innovative training methods

Our lecturers and researchers have a tradition of innovation in teaching. Delivering the first Scientific MOOC (“Introduction to mobile networks”) in France in 2013, the department continues to pioneer new forms of delivery and teaching engagement. With 9 MOOCs (including 2 MOOCs on EDX), and an annual enrolment of over 20,000 students since 2014,  we have become the primary production centre of MOOCs on networks in Europe. The department has also set up an ambitious training project on standardisation processes that builds on our lecturers’ experience of participation in national and international standards bodies. Our lecturers' ability to innovate across multiple teaching methods (combining projects, online lessons, classroom lessons and flipped classrooms) is regarded highly in the field of engineering education.

        • Masters degree programme specialising in Cyber Security

Information systems security spans a wide range of methods, techniques and tools that are required to protect the resources of an information system in order to ensure the availability of its services, data confidentiality and system integrity. The goal of the Cyber Security Masters course is to train highly qualified managers to properly understand every aspect of the issues related to information systems security. The Cyber Security Masters Course is run at IMT Atlantique's Rennes campus and the CentraleSupélec campus, by lecturers and researchers from the Department of Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law and the CIDre team. Students successfully completing the course obtain a double degree from IMT and CentraleSupélec.

This specialised Masters course was ranked first with four stars in the “Telecoms, networks and systems security” category of the 2016 SMBG ranking.  It recently received the SecNumedu certificate: a certification of higher education initial training programmes in cyber security, developed and managed by the national agency for information systems security (ANSSI).

        • Training Club of the Hub of Internet Excellence

Ministry of Defense and the regional council have established the Hub of Internet Excellence (PEC) in Brittany.  Having national impact and with the goal of international influence, it is mainly focussed on the academic and industrial fabric of the region, which is particularly rich in the area of cyber security and digital technology, but the Hub also has national and foreign partners. The Hub of Internet Excellence is organised along three lines: research; initial training, further training and higher education; and the development of industrial networks. IMT Atlantique, particularly the Department of Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law, is very involved, both through its research and through running the training club of the Hub of Internet Excellence (by one of the department's lecturers).

The department also counts among its member the scientific directors of CyberEdu (a project initiated by ANSSI following the publication of the White Paper on Defence and National Security).  Its goal is to introduce the concepts of cyber security to all IT training programmes in France.

        • Internationalization

Coming soon


  • Innovation and technology transfer

Several start-ups have emerged from the department’s research programme, with the technology transfer supported by IMT Atlantique's Rennes incubator.  These include:
 • YoGoKo (an innovative solution for communication between wired and/or wireless multi-connected hardware):
 • Acklio (a unifier of low-energy wireless networks):
 • Lamane (Advanced solution for data anonymization and valorisation):

Several members of the department are also seconded part-time to the Institute of Technological Research, B<>Com.  This institute, born out of a public-private partnership, aims to accelerate the development and placement on the market of tools, products and services for improving daily life, through research and innovation in digital technologies.  It focuses on: hypermedia and faster ultra-broadband networks, two research areas that are at the core of the Department of Network Systems, Cyber Security and Digital Law.