Singapore’s cybersecurity rules just got stricter for the financial sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has taken steps to raise the standard of the country’s financial sector’s digital defences.

Singapore’s financial watchdog announced a new set of legally binding requirements to raise the cybersecurity standards on Tuesday August 6. The Notice on Cyber Hygiene stipulates what financial institutions must do to mitigate the growing risk of cyber threats. Financial institutions have until August 6 2020 to implement the new rules.

The new rules were put together after the authority issued a public consultation in September 2018.

The requirements include establishing and implementing robust security for IT systems, ensuring updates are applied to address system security flaws in a timely manner and deploying security devices to restrict unauthorized network traffic.

Moreover, financial services now have to set up protection against malware, secure the use of system accounts with special privileges to prevent unauthorised access and strengthen user authentication for critical systems as well as systems used to access customer information.

Tan Yeow Seng, chief cybersecurity officer at the Monetary Authority, stated that the need for these new rules has arisen along growing cyber threats. “The financial sector needs to remain vigilant and ensure that defences are able to counter varied and evolving threats,” he continued. “Good cyber hygiene can go a long way in protecting financial institutions from common types of cyber incursions. These fundamental and essential measures can be implemented by all financial institutions regardless of size or system complexity.”

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