Singapore financial sector conducts terror, cyber attack simulation to test business continuity

The Association of Banks in Singapore said the large-scale, industry-wide exercise, code-named Exercise Raffles, was the fifth to have been pulled off so far.
The Association of Banks in Singapore said the large-scale, industry-wide exercise, code-named Exercise Raffles, was the fifth to have been pulled off so far. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's financial sector underwent simulated terrorist and cyber attacks on Thursday (Aug 24), as part of efforts to ensure they had good plans in place in the event of such crises.

The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said the large-scale, industry-wide exercise, code-named Exercise Raffles, was the fifth to have been pulled off so far.

The exercise involved 139 financial institutions including banks, finance companies, insurers, asset management firms, securities and brokerage firms, financial market infrastructures, industry associations, the Singapore Exchange and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The exercise was also conducted with the support of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Singapore Police Force, the Ministry of Communications and Information, the CyberSecurity Agency of Singapore and the building and facilities managements from about 50 buildings.

During the exercise, financial institutions practised established crisis management and contingency plans in response to simulated scenarios of terrorist attacks and cyber attacks that disrupted operations and resulted in the unavailability of financial services.

Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director of ABS, said: "The exercise was valuable and provided an opportunity to practise coordination among the financial institutions, including crisis responses and sharing of information. The exercising of communication and coordination between financial institutions and authorities was intense and challenging.

"There are good lessons that the industry gained which will contribute towards enhancing the responsiveness and resilience of Singapore's financial sector."

Mr Ho Kai Weng, chief executive of the General Insurance Association, noted that recent developments in many countries around the world have highlighted the danger from cyber and physical threats.

"This exercise has emphasised the importance for the general insurance industry to collaborate in sharing information, undertaking active discussions and testing threat response and business continuity plans."

Ms Pauline Lim, the executive director of the Life Insurance Association of Singapore, added: "As Singapore strives towards achieving our Smart Nation ambition, it also becomes increasingly critical for us to ensure that the level of protection we provide members of the community, and the integrity of our systems are not compromised."