MAS urges banks in Singapore to be vigilant against cyber threats

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued an advisory to remind financial institutions to continue to strengthen measures to safeguard themselves.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued an advisory to remind financial institutions to continue to strengthen measures to safeguard themselves.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued an advisory to remind financial institutions to remain vigilant, following recent reports of cyber incidents overseas where attackers attempted fraudulent fund transfers using the Swift system.

MAS' chief cyber security officer Tan Yeow Seng said: "The recent cyber incidents present yet another reminder of the constant cyber threats to our financial sector. It is important for all financial institutions to be vigilant."

The advisory from MAS reminds financial institutions to continue to strengthen measures to safeguard themselves.

These include implementing a layered security approach to protect IT environment as well as appropriate measures to secure Swift payment terminals, employing strong access controls to restrict the usage of administrator-level system accounts on Swift servers, and performing payment reconciliation or monitoring of Swift messages to detect any fraudulent payments in a timely manner.

"MAS has been working with financial institutions in Singapore on a number of initiatives to continuously deepen the sector's cyber capabilities, taking into account the rapidly changing cyber threat landscape," Mr Tan added.

The central bank also regularly assesses financial institutions' cyber resilience through its supervisory programmes.

Where there are areas of potential vulnerabilities, MAS requires the financial institution to develop a remedial plan and will monitor the financial institution's rectification of such gaps.