Singapore and UK authorities team up to conquer cybersecurity

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have agreed to work together to boost cybersecurity in their financial sectors.

MAS and the UK financial authorities will start working towards a Memorandum of Understanding to signify their teamwork.

Collaboration will involve MAS and the UK authorities identifying effective way to share information and exploring potential for staff exchanges. The authorities believe both Singapore and the UK will benefit from this close interaction on cybersecurity.

Singapore and UK authorities already work together both bilaterally and by supporting the Basel Committee’s work to develop the best practices for supervising cyber risk within banks. They also contribute to the financial stability board’s cyber lexicon.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said, “The average cost of cybercrime for financial services companies globally has increased by more than 40% over the past three years. Cyber risk is not constrained by geographic boundaries, making international cooperation essential to address this growing threat.

“That’s why I’m pleased the Bank and the Prudential Regulation Authority are working with the MAS toward a Memorandum of Understanding on financial sector cyber security. This aligns with the work we are doing with a number of other countries to enhance global collaboration on cyber risk.”

Last year, the Bank of England released the results of its Systemic Risk Survey which found the number of companies reporting cyberattacks is increasing. During the opening half of 2018, 63 per cent of respondents of the survey stated they saw cyberattacks as a risk, an increase of five percentage points on 2017.

The increasing ease of carrying out a cyberattack is quite worrying. A study from Deloitte last year found that an attack can cost from as little as $34 and would net returns of $25,000. If a criminal increases it’s spend to $3,800 a month, they could see returns of $1m.

Andrew Bailey, Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive said: “Cybercrime is an ever increasing global problem, particularly in the financial services sector. It creates risks not just for individual customers’ money and data but for the UK economy.

“We will only be able to tackle this if we work together across industry and regulators to combat the threat it poses. Working closely with our global partners will help us to detect and respond to potential threats and attacks. I am pleased the FCA can work together with international partners, like MAS, to enhance cyber security in the financial sector.”

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