Defence O365 frequently asked questions

The new Defence O365 will help members of the Defence Team work and collaborate with colleagues remotely, including chat and video conferencing. To make this experience as easy as possible, find answers to frequently asked questions below:

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General Questions

1 - What is Microsoft Office 365 (O365)?

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of business tools such as, Word, Excel, OneNote, MS Teams and many others. This solution is being deployed to DND/CAF to facilitate work from home during the COVID-19 emergency period.

2 - What is Microsoft (MS) Teams?

Microsoft (MS) Teams is a collaborative tool set to help you and your colleagues communicate when not in the office. You can use MS Teams to hold video conference meetings, or to share transitory information.  For more information about MS Teams, visit the Microsoft Teams Wikipedia article.

3 - Why am I being offered a Defence O365 Account?

Due to the COVID-19 emergency period, all DND/CAF members are being provided Microsoft Office 365. This cloud-based software provides the telework capabilities required for staff to continue working remotely and securely without needing to use limited and valuable bandwidth at this time.

4 - Why should I use MS Teams when I’m already using similar Apps/Software?

While there are many apps and software available now, Defence O365 has been identified as the preferred option.  Using your Defence O365 account with MS Teams provides a common platform to work and collaborate with your peers from the Defence Team.  The tool provides intuitive features such as chat, message boards, calendar and videoconference.  The tool is also an alternative to audio teleconference bridges.  This tool will allow us to improve our ability to work remotely and collaborate during this emergency period.

5 - I have never used this tool before and I am overwhelmed, how do I adapt?

DND has prepared a list of documents to assist users in this transition which are available from the Defence O365 Portal. In addition, you may consult the Microsoft Office Support site for in depth help and information on the tools found in Office 365. Once logged in, you will find many resources, including power users and your colleagues to help you.

6 - How secure is this solution?

The Defence O365 environment was customized for DND’s needs. It was assessed by both the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and DIMSecur. This tool has been approved to storing and processing up to Protected A information .  A number of security measures have been included in this solution, including active monitoring.

7 - My team wants to continue using other commercial tools rather than migrate to this new Teams environment. Is it mandatory that I use Defence O365 and MS Teams?

DND is recommending that individuals employ Defence O365 for business activities.  By all joining a common Cloud environment, the defence team will be able to better leverage collaboration tools and provide a common and supported platform for all personnel. Other platforms are not assessed for security and must be used only with Unclassifed and approved information. Over time, use of these platforms can put DND/CAF information at risk. Consult this DND/CAF Security Guide to understand the extensive limitations of working in other unsupported commercial environments.   

8 - My other GC colleagues are using other Cloud tools, why is DND adopting this one?

Microsoft Office 365 is the Treasury Board Secretariat recommended cloud platform, meeting the security and integrity requirements of the Government of Canada and DND/CAF.  Although different instances exist across the GC, DND is adopting the same tool as those provided by TBS, PSPC, and SSC, albeit customized to defence needs and requirements.   

9 - Will this Cloud Solution impact the Transparent - Defence Virtual Private Network Infrastructure (T-DVPNI) Bandwidth?

Defence O365 can be directly accessed through the Internet when used with a mobile or personal device, without going through T-DVPNI.  This will reduce the load on T-DVPNI for those who still need to access DWAN applications.  Accessing Defence O365 from a DWAN T-DVPNI laptop use valuable and limited bandwidth unnecessarily.

Use of Personal Devices

10 - Should I use a personal device to access this solution?

Yes. Defence O365 can be used with both your personal or DND/CAF devices, from laptops to phones and tablets. Users accessing through their personal devices will have access to all tools, including MS Teams and will reduce the strain on the networks. If using a DND/CAF device, you will require T-DVPNI connection, or be on-site, in order to access Defence O365 (note: some features such as videoconference may not be available via t-DVPNI/DWAN).

11 - Why shouldn’t I use my work-provided laptop?

DND owned devices require T-DVPNI to access Defence O365. To limit the strain on the DVPNI infrastructure, users are strongly recommended to access the Defence O365 and MS Teams from their personal devices.

12 - What happens if I do not have a personal device available?

You may use a personal laptop, tablet or smartphone to access the Defence O365 solution, using the internet browser or supported application (Microsoft Teams). Should you have access to neither of these devices, please contact your manager to coordinate other options.

13 - I am concerned about using my personal data quotas from my telecommunication provider and data overages?

Since access to Defence O365 solution requires local internet access, it will use data. It is recommended that you contact your telecommunications service provider to obtain information on your data allowances. Certain service providers may grant users greater data allowances due to COVID-19. Should you be seeking reimbursement of data overage charges, please contact your manager prior to incurring any expenses.

14 - Are there any security risks to my personal devices?

The Microsoft Office 365 products are reputable, and security tested. Additional security measures were put in place by DND specialists. However, users are advised to always adopt cyber security best practices, such as ensuring that your personal device operating system and your internet browser are up to date. For shared family computers, you are asked to create a separate and dedicated user account, and lock your sessions when absent with a password. For more details on security best practices, please consult https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/.

15 - What are my “Bring your own device” security obligations – do I need any special antivirus installed?

There are no specific requirements other than ensuring that your device is kept up to date, for both its operating system and browser application. Please consult and follow guidance from https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca to limit the risk of compromise of your device.

Obtaining an Account

16 - How do I access Defence O365?

A Defence O365 representative from your organization will contact you directly with and onboarding email with instructions and login credentials. These account login credentials are for your Microsoft account only. Ensure you do not reuse passwords and/or codes between applications or other Defence systems. Your L1 is coordinating with the project team and the roll out will follow a phased approach.

17 - Since I have my own Microsoft account at home, can I use it to access Defence O365 MS Teams?

No, you will not be able to use your personal Microsoft account or applications to access Defence O365. You require a Defence Cloud Account.

18 - When will I get access to Office O365?

The onboarding process has already begun, and accounts will be distributed in batches. DND is looking to have all users set up as soon as possible. For an estimate of when you may obtain your account, please contact your manager.

19 - How will I be contacted?

The account initiation requires a phone call to complete the initial set-up. You can expect a 20-minute phone call with a Defence representative from your organization who will provide your credentials and will help you initiate your access. Be wary of scams and phishing emails masquerading as official Defence or government officials. Report any such scams attempts to your ISSO or USS.

Initial Set-Up

20 - What is the link to access the web version of Defence O365 / MS Team.

Defence O365 can be accessed from defenceo365.forces.gc.ca. However, you will need to wait until you have received your onboarding email and set up your Defence Cloud account prior to gaining access.

21 - Why am I receiving a new email address first.last@ECN.forces.gc.ca or first.last@JDCP.forces.gc.ca?

The login credentials for Defence O365 are tied to a Microsoft account. Since existing accounts (@forces.gc.ca) can only be accessed from the DWAN, new accounts were needed to ensure that individuals could have access without T-DVPNI. You may set forward rules to automatically send email from you cloud account to your forces.gc.ca account.

22 - How long does the set-up process take? What do I need to be prepared?

Once you receive your temporary password from Defence O365 onboarding team, setting up the account only takes a few minutes. Note: you will need access to a phone or tablet in order to use the two-factor authentication login, even if you are accessing from a laptop or desktop.

23 - What is two-factor authentication and why must I use it?

The DND Cloud environment uses Microsoft 2FA to defend against password compromise. This may occur if users enter their password by mistake on a malicious site, or if their computer is compromised.

Two-factor authentication (or 2FA) is a type, or subset, of multi-factor authentication. It is a method of confirming users' claimed identities by using a combination of two different factors: 1) something they know, 2) something they have, or 3) something they are.

24 - The sign-on procedure is asking me for personal information such as my cell number, do I have any other options?

The personal information requested is limited to only what is required to enable your 2FA authentication and for you to reset your password yourself. If you do not wish for your cellphone number to be used, there is an Authenticator Application which you can install. Under no circumstances will a service desk agent contact you requesting for personal information. Please be mindful of social engineering attempts (using psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information), phishing and other scams!

Authorized Use (Protected A)

25 - What is the appropriate usage of this tool – what type of work tasks am I allowed to complete in the Cloud?

Office 365 supports browser-based versions of all Microsoft Office Suite Applications such as: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. However, it is only suitable for information up to Protected A at this time. Please note that Protected B, Classified, Controlled Goods and ITAR information is not permitted on Defence O365 at this time.

26 - What is Protected A Information?

For information on what constitutes Protected and Classified information within the Government of Canada, please consult the Levels of Security page from the Government of Canada website. In general, most activities carried out on the DWAN are suitable to be conducted on Defence O365.

27 - Can I work on Classified documents in Defence O365?

No, Classified material cannot be worked on in this environment. Individuals may only work on Unclassified documents, up to Protected A. Report any information mishandling to your unit ISSO or USS.

28 - What do I do if I have sensitive work to complete?

If your work requirements involved anything beyond Protected A, please discuss your work requirements with your Manager.

Managing the Information that I Create

29 -  What happens to the information created in this cloud environment after the end of this crisis period? How long will I have to migrate my information out of this tool when the crisis is over?

At the end of the crisis period, necessary files and documents will need to be migrated back to your usual systems. Attempts have been made to design the Defence O365 sites so that the transition back to your routine environment will be as easy as possible. You will receive more specific instructions at that time.

The recovery transition period has not been determined yet, but you should not expect documents to be accessible in Defence O365 for an indefinite amount of time.

30 - Will the data stored in this Cloud solution be backed up in case of an accidental deleted file?

A Recycle Bin function is available to allow recovery of deleted files. For more information, please consult the Office O365 Support site.

Limitations and Restrictions for File Movement

31 - What are the restrictions on how I can move files to and from my Defence O365 account and DWAN Network?

As part of the security measures implemented in Defence O365, downloading, printing and communication functions outside of the Government of Canada networks are limited. You may upload information from any device into the Defence Cloud. You may also exchange documents with GC and other DND systems. Only files required for work during this emergency period are to be transferred to the Defence O365 environment, and any final versions or records sent back to DWAN for appropriate safeguarding, once you regain access to DWAN.

32 - How do I import my existing work files from DWAN/SharePoint?

DND has published the following documents to assist users in transferring documents from the DWAN to Office O365: User Guide - Transferring Documents from DWAN to Defence O365. However, you will need to wait until you have received your onboarding email and activated your Defence O365 account to access it.

33 - Can I use a USB Stick to move files from my desktop over to my personal device?

As per the Department's IT security rules, you are not permitted to use unauthorized USB devices on Defence systems to move or store files.

34 - Why can’t I forward attachments from my new cloud address to my personal email address?

As part of the security measures implemented to Defence O365, file attachments to email outside of the Government of Canada and trusted partner networks have been disabled to prevent mishandling of sensitive information.

Technical Issues

35 - Where can I find information about the tools and how they work?

The Defence O365 Support Site (only accessible once your account is activated) and the Microsoft Office 365 Support site offer valuable information on the tools found in Office 365 and how to make the most of them.

36 - What is a power user and how do I contact a power user for my group?

Power users are Defence Team members who were identified as early adopters for each group. These individuals were onboarded early, so they could adapt and learn the environment in order to help support their colleagues as the roll out occurs. Your management team will be providing contact information for your team’s power users. We encourage you to work closely with them and reach out by chat to seek assistance before raising a help request.

37 - How do I recover my password?

Users are directed to use the password reset function from the Microsoft account login page. For more info please consult https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/troubleshoot/sign-in/forgot-sign-in-password.

38 - I downloaded Microsoft Teams to my laptop, but I cannot login?

Only the web app version is supported for Defence O365 on laptops and desktops. For mobile devices however, you must download the apps to access the tools.

39 - Which web browser should I use?

Google Chrome is the recommended web browsers. Mac users should download Google Chrome for Mac. Google Chrome is freely available from https://www.google.ca/chrome/

40 - Which tools are included on Defence O365?

The supported web applications include:

Chat, Teams, Calendar, Audio-conferencing, Videoconferencing

Office 365 applications: Defence Cloud Email Account, MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint

SharePoint, OneNote, Planner App, Wiki Capabilities

OneDrive

Although Defence O365 appears to have many of the functions we are familiar with, some are not fully functional – like SharePoint. Please keep this in mind while using the tools.

41 - Can I request a new app for Defence O365 / MS Teams?

Currently, due to operational pressures, the project team is unable to process requests for additional apps in this environment.

42 - What happens if I have a technical issue after I successfully install the tool?

Users should consult Office 365 Support site for assistance with technical issues. If you cannot troubleshoot on your own, please contact your team’s power user.

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