French Defence Ministry deploys Cryptosmart PC solution from Ercom, a Thales company

Dealing with the growing number of people working from home

With the COVID-19 crisis and the exceptional number of staff working from home, the French Ministry for the Armed Forces decided to accelerate the rollout of solutions to protect communications for personnel working in any location. 

In partnership with DIRISI, the Ministry’s joint infrastructure networks and information systems agency, Ercom swiftly proposed its Cryptosmart PC VPN solution*, which enables staff to communicate securely from their PCs wherever they are located. The new security solution is now available alongside Cryptosmart mobile, which was developed in partnership with Samsung to protect communications and data on mobile devices. Ercom has been working with the Ministry for the Armed Forces and the Offices of the French President since 2016, and its solutions now protect devices and communications for over 20,000 users. 

Cryptosmart is a two-in-one solution,” says Romain Waller, Managing Director of Ercom’s Cybersecurity business unit. “It is both a VPN for protecting data flows from your laptop and a VPN for securing your mobile communications from a smartphone or tablet, all based on a single platform installed on the customer’s information system. It’s a turnkey solution that ensures cohesion and continuity of operations with a high level of security. The Cryptosmart mobile and PC solutions are designed for all public entities and businesses that need to protect their communications and data flows with a very high level of security to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their information. 

Fivefold increase in users in just weeks

The Ministry for the Armed Forces had already rolled out Cryptosmart PC to several thousand users handling sensitive data. As more and more personnel needed to work from home, DIRISI decided to expand the Cryptosmart PC user base to tens of thousands more staff. In just a few weeks, the number of active users increased fivefold. 

The Ministry needed to ensure that staff would be operational immediately by adopting a secure tool to ensure continuity of their day-to-day work. This mission has now been accomplished: the Ministry has provided them with a permanent and stable connection for as long as they work from home, increased their bandwidth to support the volumes of data involved and enabled them to securely access internal resources such as the intranet, email and other services. 

Ercom is a trusted partner that has worked with us in exceptional circumstances to extend VPN licences to all our staff,” says General Jean-Marc Latapy, Central Director of DIRISI, the French defence ministry' joint infrastructure networks and information systems agency. “The secure USB sticks were delivered efficiently to an exceptionally short deadline. Cryptosmart PC has enabled us to extend the Ministry’s network to home users with a high level of security. The solution plays
a central role within our organisation by enabling secure mobility
in all circumstances for staff using PCs or mobile devices.

Cryptosmart PC is a turnkey VPN solution from Ercom that protects all communications to and from Windows laptop computers. Cryptosmart PC is based on the same technological building blocks as the Cryptosmart mobile solution, which is approved to ‘restricted’ level by ANSSI, France’s national agency for information system security.


About Ercom 

Ercom, a Thales company incorporated in France, has been recognised for over 30 years for its communications, data and device security solutions. Ercom has the adaptability to meet the needs of governments, major companies and SMEs alike, providing certified security solutions that comply with the most stringent functional requirements. 
For more information, visit our website: www.ercom.com

About DIRISI

DIRISI (Direction Interarmées des Réseaux d’Infrastructure et des Systèmes d’Information) is the joint infrastructure networks and information systems agency of the French Ministry for the Armed Forces and acts as its sole telecoms and IT operator. Employing 6,800 military and civilian personnel in France, overseas and on operational deployments, DIRISI is responsible for rolling out and maintaining the necessary IT and telecommunications infrastructure for all of the Ministry’s missions. From deterrence to naval and airland operations, DIRISI is permanently focused on meeting the most stringent availability and security requirements.