Monetary Authority Of Singapore Tightens Cybersecurity


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is now all set to take firm stands as regards cyber security. Plans are to take concrete steps to tighten cyber security, with full support from the best of cyber security experts.

The MAS had earlier issued a release titled ‘MAS Sets Up International Advisory Panel for Cyber Security‘, which said- “The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has established a Cyber Security Advisory Panel (CSAP), comprising cyber security thought leaders from around the world.” The release had said that the inaugural meeting would be held in October 2017 and that the CSAP members would be appointed for a two-year term.

As per the MAS media release, the CSAP would be advising the MAS on strategies that would be needed to enhance the cyber resilience of Singapore’s financial sector on the whole. CSAP would also specifically provide MAS global perspectives on all kinds of evolving technologies and also on cyber threats, highlighting their implications for financial services. Special emphasis would be on providing MAS professional insights on best cyber security practices and strategies.

The Business Times, south-east Asia’s leading financial daily, has recently come out with a report which says- “THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to set further requirements in cybersecurity, with its managing director Ravi Menon pointing to cybersecurity risks posed by banks going digital.”

The MAS Cyber Security Advisory Panel, which had its inaugural meeting on 5th and 6th October, discussed all kinds of strategies that are needed to enhance the cyber resilience of Singapore’s financial sector and covered different areas relating to it, including regulatory guidance, supervision, information sharing, surveillance etc.

A media release from MAS on the CSAP inaugural meeting says- “CSAP members agreed that having strong basic cyber hygiene practices was fundamental in securing cyber resilience. They also suggested that it was important to strengthen the competency and capability of the boards of financial institutions to exercise effective oversight of cyber risk management. CSAP members highlighted the importance of conducting realistic penetration tests, including “red-teaming”2.”

The Business Times has quoted MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon as saying, “The use of technology is not going to take off if we have not successfully addressed the cybersecurity problem, and assured ourselves and Singaporeans that cyber risks are reasonably well mitigated.” He is also quoted as saying- “Cyber risk is the least known risk of all the major risks facing banks. The models to track, manage and mitigate these risks are not as well developed as the models for the more traditional areas.”

It’s to be noted that many leading financial institutions- at least 20 global banks and insurers- have set up their innovation labs in Singapore. There are also over 400 fintechs in Singapore, many of which have existing products and services and are generating good revenue. It’s in this scenario that MAS functions as a regulator of startups and attempts to bring in changes.


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