The government assembled Monaco’s “operators of vital interest” in the Grimaldi Forum to explain why guarding against cyber attacks is necessary.
The digital economy has several indisputable advantages which are totally compatible with Monaco’s characteristics: it is a generally clean activity, requiring little space, with an extraordinary potential for growth. Space is a rare commodity here and Prince Albert II has set ambitious environmental targets fully compatible with the idea of a “Monegasque Silicon Valley”, as Serge Telle put it when he spoke at the Grimaldi Forum.
Protecting fundamental interests
Monaco will become a smart Principality. It has a completely connected territory, ahead of its time and its neighbors. But because of this, strengthening our cyber security is essential. If our territory is considered very safe, our cyber space is much less so (as evidenced by the CHPG’s recent cyber attack). The Principality decided to talk to operators of vital interest. They were defined by Law No. 1435: public or private players who operate in sectors which are essential to public institutions and services, economic activity and life in the Principality, as well as those operating establishments or structures (CHPG, tunnels, car parks) whose unavailability would be detrimental to the interests of Monaco.
Philippe Trouchaud, a computer science training engineer and expert in cyber security at PwC, shared a few chilling anecdotes, including one about the well-known CAC40 company, where most passwords were the company’s name. Extremely practical, even for an amateur hacker. He also pointed out, with a half-inquisitive, half-guilty expression, that most companies do not know the structure of their own network. “Just as firefighters need a map to intervene in a building, a network plan is needed to intervene in the event of an attack, and it can take several days to define.” We thought we heard a few “gulps” in the hall.
A Monegasque digital security agency was created last year. At its head, Dominique Riban, former Director of the National Agency for Information Systems Security, whom he likes to call “cyber firefighters”. He did not hesitate to suggest the disaster scenario of a private internet Principality. “With that, we have to know the consequences. And that’s why we need to work with you.”