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    DFSA Reviews Cyber Risk Practices, Issues Crypto Token Regime

    November 01, 2022

    The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) published a thematic report on cyber risk assessment practices and announced that the Crypto Token regime will come into effect from November 01, 2022. Additionally, DFSA signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand to enable dialog about technology innovation in financial services (including fintech and regtech.

    The Cyber Thematic Report 2022 reviewed the degree to which firms have implemented the DFSA Cyber Risk Management Guidelines and the current maturity level of the cybersecurity frameworks of these firms. The report summarizes key findings and observations along with areas of improvements in the cyber risk management practices of firms. The report assessed cyber risk governance frameworks, the consistency of cyber risk management practices, the current maturity level of cybersecurity frameworks, and resilience programs and compared results with the outcomes of the 2020 review. The report found significant improvements in third-party cyber risk management and user authentication controls, including strong password requirements and multi-factor authentication. The report highlights need for further improvement in three areas: incident response testing program, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and information technology asset identification and classification. DFSA performs cyber thematic reviews in two-year cycles (previous review was in 2020) to check the maturity level of cybersecurity frameworks implemented by firms. DFSA also plans to engage relevant institutions in cyber simulations that help them to test their response to cyber incidents and assess their cyber resilience.

    The Crypto Token regime, which comes into effect on November 01, 2022, forms the second phase of the DFSA work, following the introduction of a regime in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for the Regulation of Investment Tokens in October 2021. This comprehensive regime covers not only money launder and terrorist financing risks in respect of trading, clearing, holding, or transferring crypto tokens but also in addressing risks to consumer protection, market integrity, custody, and financial resources for service providers. DFSA took a balanced approach in the development of this regime and will consider, as the sector develops, further changes and amendments to the regime in alignment with best practices and standards adopted by international standard-setters.

     

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    Keywords: Middle East and Africa, UAE, Banking, Regtech, Cyber Risk, Third Party Risk, Cyber Incident, AML CFT, Crypto Token Regime, DFSA

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