The Ministry of the Armed Forces also wants its 100% digital workspace

Like many private and public organizations, the Ministry of the Armed Forces was forced to comply with the barrier measures and posed in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

For his part, he also had to switch massively to telecommuting. Apparently since such an organization is likely to last a while, this administration raises the question of the digital tools used in the context of exchanges and telework in general. In response to this need, the Joint Directorate of Defence Infrastructure Networks and Information Systems has already planned to respond by implementing a large-scale dematerialization system with the aim of providing the ministry with a digital workspace.

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Faced with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, certain events and circumstances "showed the need to maintain a link between any agent of the Ministry of armies (MinArm) and the armies, directorates and services that use it," reads the tender that was released on June 29.

The resolution of this problem is a necessity for the Ministry of the Army. It can be understood in the sense that it is easy to observe that there are agents who do not have the means to connect to the intranet of the defence network. On the other hand, administration must be able to get in regular and safe contact with all stakeholders, agents and providers of all stripes in order to continue collaboration on ongoing and future projects.

The new tool that will then be put in place will make some reproduction of the work environment, but this time adapted in a universe. The use of instant messaging and document-sharing software is to be relied upon, and even audio and video conferencing will be the essential tools at the heart of this new implementation. This is not pretending device will have to be easily nightly available to the subjects, their compatibility must meet the diversity of terminals on the market. Whether it's Windows, iOS or Android, the platform will need to be adapted to all these operating systems. Future platform users will receive training from the provider in the form of a webinar.

Why such a development while we tend towards lull and deconfinement. Quite simply, because you would have to be prepared in the event of a second wave of contamination. At the moment, many are thinking about getting back to work in the present, there is no denying that the risk of the pandemic taking over. Interactions will be unavoidable, which means a possibility of contamination. The state of health emergency it should be noted has been extended until 10 July. This means that there is still some time for the Ministry of the Armed Forces, in the development of its system all the time ensuring not to harm the interests of the competition. Due to the limited delays, the Department of the Armed Forces required that the tool be available as soon as possible.

Regarding access to this platform. Everything will be organized in stages. First a first group of 2500 users to start. The goal is to reach up to 50,000 Active Users. It will be a 1-year contract, awarded only to one provider. A possibility of renewal is possible and at least 3 times over a 12-month period with each renewal. For the budget, it is planned for this programme, 1,000,000 euros per year, it will have to be capped at 4.5 million euros for the whole project from its initiation until its implementation.

The major issue in this program is, of course, cybersecurity. Indeed, it should be ensured that all data that will pass through the various exchanges or that will be generated between the Departments of the Armed Forces its providers or other stakeholders are absolutely secure. This is despite the fact that the tools that should be produced will not be used for the transmission of information classified as "unprotected" and therefore not "Restricted broadcast" managed only through SMOBI. However, the implementation of the system will have to meet certain security criteria and apart from the National Information Systems Security Agency, ANSSI. The French cybersecurity watchdog will have to support this initiative through security applications and defences.

It is recalled that the latter had long warned about the risks of telework, especially the underlying dangers in the face of the massive use of computer tools, without any preparation and prior protection. "The development of telework through uncontrolled tool[…]s has created new major risks. Non-European video conferencing tools such as Zoom, for example, which are insecure and governed by non-European regulations such as the Cloud Act, are unsuitable for sensitive exchanges," Guillaume Poupard, ANSSI's director general, told MEPs. "It is still too early to fully learn from this crisis, but it is already certain that we will not have to wait until the next one to develop tools of a reasonable level of security under European law alone."

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