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Posted 25 juin 2020

According to the latest McAfee report, cyber-attacks against cloud accounts have increased 630% due to the expansion of telecommuting. These are mostly orchestrated by foreign attackers located in China, Russia and Iran. With the fragmentation of corporate information systems security, which creates gaps, and organizational changes, such as the massive shift toward telecommuting, hackers are on the lookout to exploit major events.

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Digital sovereignty, a major challenge for organizations

Digital sovereignty is literally defined as “a nation’s ability to regulate and act in cyberspace”.[1] But organizations are not only concerned with the regulation of cyberspace. The challenge for them is more about the sovereignty of their data and that of their clients. Data sovereignty means that “digital data is subject to the laws of the country where it is located”.[2] Therefore, it is governed by the national law of the country and by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

For 65% of French executives and managers, digital sovereignty is a critical issue for organizations. This is the result of the latest survey conducted by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) among French and German managers and executives. In this context, almost three-quarters of respondents reported “using or creating internal platforms to aggregate and analyze data”. French and German leaders are well aware that digital sovereignty must be an integral part of their business model.

And yet, 80% of CAC 40 companies host their Cloud with Amazon, and many regional or local authorities and government departments store their data with American companies.[3] This situation of dependency is due in particular to the increasing use of GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) and NATU (Netflix, Airbnb, Tesla, Uber) platforms, either within the “private sphere of our means of communication” or the operation of our organizations. These platforms jeopardize the digital investments that could be directed to French players. With the digital industry weighing nearly 200 billion euros in 2020 in France, only 15% of digital investments are intended for French digital players.[4]

Today, the main questions organizations are asking themselves about their digital sovereignty are: who controls Internet resources; how do we respond to the hegemony of foreign powers and the massive use of Apple and Android OSes, CRM, storage and file sharing software; and how do we control the protection of individual data within the framework of the European GDPR regulation. These are challenges faced by Nations, organizations and citizens themselves.


Digital sovereignty endorsed by French citizens and the French government

According to a recent survey conducted by Carvea Consulting, 78% of French citizens say that digital sovereignty is “as important as having your own army”.

A group of 200 French digital entrepreneurs, pioneers and decision-makers, pleaded on April 9 with the French government to “prioritize digital sovereignty and trust to support the efforts of digital transformation and industrialization 4.0”.[5] 


Gaia-X, the new European Secure Cloud project

At a press conference in June, the French and German Economic Ministers, Bruno Le Maire and Peter Altmaier, unveiled the outlines of Project Gaia-X. This new European Cloud should enable European organizations to benefit from secure and controlled “Made in Europe” cloud services.

“Building a European infrastructure represents a starting point for the creation of a European data ecosystem. Information will flow smoothly between economic players to help them increase their performance and create new services, explains Peter Altmaier, Minister of Economic Affairs for the German government.

This project is in line with reconquering digital sovereignty, initiated by the French government and digital players.

On June 23, 2020, Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, responded to the controversy of hosting the French health data platform, Health Data Hub, with the American giant Microsoft in its Azure cloud. A situation that Cédric O would like to change with the launch of a new invitation to tender. An opportunity that is emerging for French organizations certified “Health Data Hosting (HDS)” by the Agency for Digital Health. These include French organizations such as Thales, Orange, OVH and Capgemini.


We must change course because we are fortunate enough to have, in France and in Europe, a flourishing set of reliable, secure and certified tools by recognized organizations such as ANSSI. Players and tools referenced by cyber-security expert groups such as HexatrustCyber Startups Observatory or the Alliance for Digital Trust (ACN)France and European Nations have the human and material resources and solutions to provide Europe with the capabilities to ensure its digital sovereignty and protection of its data. For several years now, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, has been supporting this assessment, advocating for a European defense industry. In 2019, the former CEO of Atos, declared that “what is important is that we have clean and sovereign defense technologies”. This is all the more true after the health crisis we have just gone through. During the Covid-19 pandemic, David Layani, president and founder of OnePoint, declared: “there was no technological disruption [because] the tools have been around for a long time!


Ercom and Thales are committed to protect your data in all circumstances, by offering free collaboration solutions to businesses and administrations to help them share and store files securely with Cryptobox (free for 45 days, non-binding[2]), and to exchange instantly and securely with their employees at any time with Citadel Team (non-binding).

These solutions, referenced by the French Ministry of Economy, Finance, Action and Public Accounts, are designed to help all departments and functions secure their documents and confidential communications against hacking and data leaks.

Don’t hesitate any longer and protect your business!


[1] https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2019/11/20/l-incertaine-mais-necessaire-souverainete-numerique_6019810_3232.html

[2] https://www.journaldunet.com/solutions/dsi/1210327-la-souverainete-des-donnees-pourquoi-est-ce-essentiel/

[3] https://www.latribune.fr/opinions/tribunes/la-souverainete-numerique-une-question-de-survie-pour-les-territoires-849971.html

[4] https://www.lesechos.fr/idees-debats/cercle/opinion-profitons-de-cette-crise-pour-retablir-notre-souverainete-numerique-1200885

[5] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/appel-du-9-avril-pour-une-libert%C3%A9-souverainet%C3%A9-et-s%C3%A9curit%C3%A9-garnier/