SINGAPORE: A new centre launched in Singapore on Tuesday (Nov 14) aims to combat cybercrime and ramp up cyber information sharing among 49 financial institutions in nine countries - Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) Asia Pacific Regional Analysis Centre will provide round the clock local and global coverage with threat information sharing, actionable intelligence, as well as tools and resources to respond to incidents, according to a joint press release by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and FS-ISAC.
MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said that 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, he added.
FS-ISAC president and CEO Bill Nelson said 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," he said.
Member institutions will benefit from regional meetings, regionally-focused monthly threat calls, webinars on hot topics, cybersecurity training and summits, MAS and FS-ISAC said in the press release.
FS-ISAC is an intelligence gathering and sharing initiative for the financial sector, with over 7,000 members worldwide.
To meet the growing need for cybersecurity talent, the FS-ISAC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Temasek Polytechnic to provide internship opportunities to the latter's students. They will be exposed to real world cyber threats to build up their skills in cybersecurity, according to MAS and FS-ISAC.
They added that the initiative will support the financial services industry transformation map and meet the growing demand for cybersecurity talent in Singapore.
Speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival, Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, also announced other key measures the central bank will take to strengthen cyber defence in the financial services sector.
“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,” said Mr Menon.
“To fully harness the benefits of digital technology, we must build robust cyber defences and have effective remediation plans when things go wrong.”
PARTNERSHIP WITH ABS
One of the ways MAS is boosting its cybersecurity is by teaming up with Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to review the Technology Risk Management Guidelines.
These guidelines are reviewed regularly, but for the first time, these guidelines will be created with industry players.
“We will develop cyber risk management guidance with the industry, for the industry."
MAS' partnership with ABS will aim to "establish guidelines for 'red-teaming', to enhance cyber security testing … to assess (an organisation’s) ability to respond to infiltration attempts. It will complement other forms of testing and assessments that are already in place," said Mr Menon.
Currently, Singapore’s central bank requires key financial institutions to conduct penetration testing of their cyberdefences by independent third-parties, or “red-teaming” - a process designed to detect network and system vulnerabilities and test security by simulating an attack to infiltrate a system, network or access to data.
This ultimate purpose of the process is to enhance security.