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    MAS Emphasizes Need to Review Security Controls Amid COVID

    November 10, 2020

    The Cyber Security Advisory Panel (CSAP) of MAS held a meeting in November 2020. At the meeting, the Panel shared insights on cyber risks in the new operating environment and made several recommendations related to the risk profiles of financial institutions and third-party vendors and the use of open-source software. Meanwhile, MAS is also consulting on the requirements to strengthen the identity verification process of financial institutions, with the comment period ending on December 09, 2020. This measure is intended to address the risk of impersonation fraud arising from the theft and misuse of an individual’s personal particulars.

    The MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon, who chaired the meeting, said that the "CSAP members have provided useful recommendations on maintaining cyber security against the backdrop of growing reliance on remote working arrangements and cloud service providers." The following are the key recommendations from the CSAP meeting:

    • Reviewing risk profiles and adequacy of risk mitigating measures. The meeting highlighted the need for financial institutions to assess if their existing risk profiles have changed and remain acceptable. This is to ensure that, in the long run, appropriate controls are implemented to mitigate any new risks.  
    • Maintaining oversight of third-party vendors and their controls. With the increased reliance on third-party vendors, the Panel emphasized the need for financial institutions to step up their oversight of these counterparts and to monitor and secure remote access by third-parties to financial institutions’ systems. This is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic where remote working has become pervasive.
    • Strengthening governance over the use of open-source software. Vulnerabilities in open-source software are typically targeted and exploited by threat actors. The Panel recommended that financial institutions establish policies and procedures on the use of open-source software and to ensure that the code is robustly reviewed and tested before deployment in the IT environment of financial institutions.

    Over two days of virtual meetings, the Panel also exchanged views with the Association of Banks in Singapore Standing Committee on Cyber Security (SCCS) and the Insurance SCCS on enhancing cloud resiliency, monitoring insider threats, and the role of cyber insurance in risk management. Participants included representatives from government agencies such as the Ministry of Communications and Information, the Ministry of Defense, and the Government Technology Agency.

     

    Comment Due Date: December 09, 2020

    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, Securities, Cyber Risk, CSAP, COVID-19, Fintech, Regtech, Open Source Software, Cloud Computing, Third Party Vendors, MAS 

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