MAS panel meets to boost cyber security in finance


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) advisory panel suggested that the boards of financial institutions should raise standards when it comes to exercising "effective oversight of cyber risk management".
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) advisory panel suggested that the boards of financial institutions should raise standards when it comes to exercising "effective oversight of cyber risk management".PHOTO: REUTERS

Financial institutions urged to raise standards of oversight of risks, conduct penetration tests

More must be done to improve the cyber resilience of the financial sector and a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) advisory panel has several suggestions on how to do so.

The panel met for the first time this week - on Thursday and yesterday - with strategies for the sector top of the agenda.

Panel members include Mr David Koh, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, and Mr Vincent Loy, financial crime and cyber leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers Risk Services.

They agreed that "having strong basic cyber hygiene practices was fundamental in securing cyber resilience", the MAS said yesterday.

The panel suggested that the boards of financial institutions should raise standards when it comes to exercising "effective oversight of cyber risk management".

It also noted that it was important to conduct realistic penetration tests, including what is called red teaming, where a group of ethical hackers continuously test weaknesses in an organisation's people, processes and technology.

Using data analytics and machine learning would also help with the sheer volume of information gathered from monitoring cyber incidents, the panel noted.

IMPROVING SECURITY

The ideas generated will boost our collective efforts to augment the cyber security posture of Singapore's banking and financial sector.

MR DAVID KOH, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon, who chaired the meeting, said: "It provided MAS an opportunity to validate its strategy for strengthening cyber resilience in the financial sector and to identify areas where we need to do more."

The panel, which will convene again next year, also met on cyber security with an Association of Banks in Singapore committee - comprising chief information security officers from major financial institutions - to discuss technological developments such as fintech, artificial intelligence and cyber security challenges.

There were talks as well with Deputy Prime Minister and MAS chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam on developing talents and capabilities in cyber security.

Mr Koh added: "The ideas generated will boost our collective efforts to augment the cyber security posture of Singapore's banking and financial sector".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2017, with the headline 'MAS panel meets to boost cyber security in finance'. Print Edition | Subscribe