If the eight weeks which froze part of the activities in France already seem far away, it is not useless to come back with Cisco France on this period which saw an acceleration of digital transformation in all sectors.
On the occasion of the US edition of CiscoLive 2020, a virtual event which recorded 120,000 registrations (employees, partners, customers and journalists), we were able to exchange views during a press point with Laurent Degré and Bruno Caille, respectively director general and technical director of Cisco France, with witness Amre Abou Ali, IT security manager at GHU Paris (Paris University Hospital Psychiatry & Neuroscience Group).
“In six weeks, we have witnessed an increase of more than 30% in global Internet traffic,” said Laurent Degré. “Congratulations to the operators who held the charge. The use of our WebEx platform was multiplied by three during this period, which shows that we can ensure a big increase in load. The time spent in meetings has also increased threefold. ” During this period, with very many employees in teleworking, security issues became preeminent with a consequent increase in VPN tunnels, which was not without damage in certain French companies which had to impose their employees on shifts with connection times throughout the day. “Businesses have reacted differently in terms of security, and cloud-based solutions have best met the needs.”
2.6 million fraudulent emails
“The zero trust approach was particularly appreciated during this period [de confinement] Explained Bruno Caille. “Safety was at the heart of discussions in companies. Perimeter addressing is no longer sufficient. Our solutions are looked at more closely, before the messages – especially on network automation – did not strike as much. Amre Abou Ali, who oversees the IT security of the psychiatric hospitals grouped in the GHU Paris (St Anne, Maison Blanche and Perray-Vaucluse), with an annual budget of 420 million euros for 5,600 employees, including 600 doctors, and 66,000 patients treated, follows nearly 4,500 computer stations. “With confinement, 1/6 of our workforce went teleworking and more than 300 agents and doctors were able to carry out teleconsultations. The security official told us that he had blocked 2.6 million fraudulent emails in one month. “They have become increasingly difficult to detect or block.”
“We can train employees and health partners but not patients who use different tools,” says Amre Abou Ali, security manager at GHU Paris.
“With more telework and more teleconsultations, there are more throughput and resilience issues. A minute of internet outage becomes critical. It is necessary to organize and manage support for use. And the security layer must hold. We have deployed concepts with partners including Cisco for the zero trust, ”explains the GHU security manager. “The situation has changed and we do not know if it will continue.” Previously, there was a schism between city medicine / pharmacies and hospitals in the medical environment for patient monitoring. “The paradigm has changed, because we also need to connect patients today with a patient / city medicine / hospital paradigm,” said Abou Ali. “We can train employees and health partners but not patients who use different tools.”
Working with dubbed tools
Asked about shadow IT practices among employees – use of messaging or videoconferencing tools not approved by the ISD – during the confinement period, the GHU security manager replied that “communications were strong on the available tools that were quickly deployed. The monitoring of flows has also made it possible to block certain solutions ”. On the same subject, Laurent Degré explained that “shadow IT has been observed in some companies, but that there is a correlation between the level of IT maturity and the use of shadow IT”. Bruno Caille adds that “the challenge for many companies was to work more to support customers. And we had to focus on the tools used, which were very much in demand during this period of stress. “
Asked about Cisco’s business activity during the eight weeks of confinement, the general manager replied that he had no perspective. “With this crisis, there was a panic rather than a commercial effect to support our clients in the public and private sectors with Webex licenses. The translation of this wave into business terms has not yet been quantified. ” He could simply add that an order for 4,000 Webex licenses for a French bank has indeed been issued to meet urgent needs. “We saw very strong activity for eight weeks, and the projects are off again. They are not always the same. Teleworking is taking hold and more robust solutions must be made to last in order to move on, such as the generalization of the use of video. We are also seeing projects with more automation, especially in the industry very affected by containment. Large retailers are also undergoing transformation with more web sites to support the drive and unilater inventories. Today, the web, the drive, and the stores have separate physical warehouses. ” Workspaces are also being redesigned in companies with people in telework and on site with, in the latter case, tools to help control social distancing like alerts if too many people are gathered in a room.