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MAS seeks to strengthen financial sector cybersecurity through collaboration with FS-ISAC and ABS

MAS seeks to strengthen financial sector cybersecurity through collaboration with FS-ISAC and ABS

Speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Mr. Ravi Menon,
Managing Director of MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), announced
several measures for strengthening cyber defence in the financial services

Mr. Menon said, “As we go more digital and online, cyber
risks will mount. And if these risks are not managed well, public trust and
confidence in technology will suffer. To fully harness the benefits of digital
technology, we must build robust cyber defences and have effective remediation
plans when things go wrong.”

Launch of the
Asia-Pacific Regional Information & Analysis Centre by FS-ISAC in Singapore

FS-ISAC, or the
Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre, is a global
intelligence gathering and sharing initiative for the financial sector, with
over 7000 members worldwide.

The new
centre in Singapore
will facilitate the sharing of cyber threat information
in a timely manner, and enable a rapid and coordinated response to emerging

The setting up of the Regional Centre in Singapore demonstrates
growing collaboration between the two oganisations to fight cybercrime. The
Centre currently supports 49 financial institutions across nine Asia Pacific
countries (Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South
Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.) 

The Centre provides 24/7 local and global coverage with
threat information sharing, actionable intelligence, as well as tools and
resources to respond to incidents. Members also benefit from regional meetings,
regionally-focused monthly threat calls, webinars on hot topics, cybersecurity
training and summits.

To meet the growing need for cybersecurity talent, FS-ISAC also
signed a memorandum of understanding with Temasek Polytechnic to provide
internship opportunities for the Polytechnic’s students. Students will be
exposed to real world cyber threats to build up their skills in cybersecurity.
This initiative supports the financial
services industry transformation map
initiative to build a local pipeline
of specialised IT talent for the financial services sector, including in the
area of cybersecurity.

The next FS-ISAC AP Summit will take place in Singapore from
July 17 -18, 2018 and includes member meetings, workshops and simulated exercises.

“Information sharing remains one of the most effective ways
to stay ahead of cybercrime. Strengthening local intelligence capabilities and
cyber-resilience is critical at both a regional and a global level,” said Bill
Nelson, president and CEO, FS-ISAC. “Strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific
helps build the resilience of the entire global financial services sector.”

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said,
“Against the backdrop of increasingly complex and sophisticated cyber-attacks,
it is even more important for countries to stay engaged, foster stronger
relationships and exchange information and expertise freely. The Centre’s
operations and the regional intelligence reports it produces will help Asia
Pacific countries to deal better with cross-border cybercrimes.”

Partnership with ABS

MAS is partnering Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to
review the Technology Risk Management Guidelines. These guidelines are reviewed
regularly, but for the first time, the guidelines will be co-created with the

 Mr. Menon said, “We
will develop cyber risk management guidance with the industry, for the

MAS already requires key financial institutions to conduct
penetration testing of their cyber defences by independent third-parties.

In order to take this further, MAS is partnering with ABS to establish
guidelines for “red-teaming”, to enhance cyber security testing. Red-teaming
refers to a covert penetration test conducted on a financial institution’s live
environment – its people, processes and technology – to assess their
ability to respond to infiltration attempts. It will complement other forms of
testing and assessments that are already in place. 


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