With Monaco Cloud set to become operational in 2021, the Principality will become the first European...Discover the project
In 2021, Monaco Cloud will become an essential part of the Monegasque digital ecosystem. “Based on sector-leading Amazon Web Services (AWS) technology, the Monegasque sovereign cloud will serve as the basis for the development and creation of new digital services in the Principality, including those related to the smart city, e-health, e-education and e-government. When, in the not too distant future, artificial intelligence becomes central to our economy, we will enjoy the benefits thanks to the cloud’s processing power and storage capacity,” explains Country Chief Digital Officer Frédéric Genta.
Monaco Cloud’s shareholders are 100% Monegasque – the State holds the majority stake with Monaco Digital as the industrial partner and shareholder – and will thus enable government data to be stored alongside that of private businesses in the Principality.
“The cloud is a foundation stone. Monaco will be the first country in Europe to launch its own sovereign cloud. This technology is critical for attracting investors.”Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“Security is part of Monaco’s DNA. The Monegasque Government was keen to work with the major market players to offer the best possible security and profit from their experience in this area. We selected AWS since their services offered us greater transparency and security, in part due to the ability to encrypt data using our own infrastructure. Thanks to AWS, the State is offering a genuine safe,” emphasises Christophe Pierre, Director of Digital Platforms and Resources, who is leading the project. To store sensitive data, you need complete protection. “The installation will be monitored by the Monaco Cyber Security Agency to guarantee compliance with the highest security standards and thus minimise, for example, the risk of hacking,” adds Christophe Pierre.
“Security is my number one priority, my red line. By creating a sovereign cloud, we are adding an additional level of security,” stresses Frédéric Genta, who describes it as like “buying a new car with the latest upgrades. It has airbags, driver assistance, a drowsiness detection system… It is much safer and more modern.”
What are the advantages of this kind of sovereign cloud? “We will get all the benefits of a cloud: security, upgradability, flexibility, processing power and storage capacity,” sums up Christophe Pierre, noting that the Monegasque Government will adopt a “cloud first” policy.
Another major advantage: “Our cloud will be consistent with our environmental targets,” said Prince Albert II when he announced the launch of Monaco Cloud on 9 September 2020. “In the cloud, resources are only mobilised when they are required. Instead of being hosted by the user or at a cooled data centre, the necessary IT resources are pooled. One of the advantages of the cloud is that it uses less energy,” explains Christophe Pierre.
Having a cloud will help to facilitate services for the Government and, ultimately, citizens, by accelerating the introduction of a digital identity and digital single window. From summer 2021, every Monegasque national and resident will have a digital identity linked to their new identity card or residence permit. This will enable highly secure, simple authentication, with no need for additional documentation, providing streamlined access to the various procedures that they may enter into or wish to enter into with government departments.
All administrative procedures that can be completed online will be accessible via a single digital window in 2021. Each user will therefore have access to all of the Government’s digital services through a single website and, most importantly, will no longer need to re-enter information that is already known to the Government.“Technically, all of this is enabled by interoperable parts of the cloud, and allows us to bring together the services concerned. These cloud services and significant storage and processing capacities will also benefit management of the smart city and e-education,” says Christophe Pierre.
Thanks to the cloud, sensitive data will continue to be stored on Monegasque soil and therefore under the control of Monegasque law, for obvious sovereignty reasons. “Nonetheless, in a country measuring two square kilometres, the State has a responsibility to take account of the risks of earthquakes or cyberattacks which could result in the partial or total loss of our data and disruption to public services. Security standards recommend a distance of 120 kilometres between two storage locations. This is why we have been working with Luxembourg on establishing secure data hosting that fully guarantees immunity and privileges similar to those offered by a physical embassy. This means creating a digital twin via an e-embassy,” notes Frédéric Genta. The data centre which would provide this extraterritorial hosting meets the highest security standards (Tier 4), and stores data for NATO and the European Union.
Monaco Cloud is the first sovereign cloud to be established by a European country.
Monaco Cloud’s shareholders are the Monegasque State (majority shareholder) and Monaco Digital, industrial partner and shareholder.
Security standards recommend a distance of 120 kilometres between two storage locations.