Cyber Resilience in the Financial Sector - Happenings Around the Region

In early March 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced a 3-part assessment that uses AI to evaluate cyber resilience for the banking industry known as the Cyber Resilience Assessment Framework (C-RAF).


The first step in the framework is to assess the level of cybersecurity risk inherent in the bank’s existing systems and put them into buckets such as 'low,' 'medium', or 'high' risk. After that, an artificially intelligent (AI) algorithm will be used to determine if the level of the bank’s cybersecurity is mature enough. If it isn’t, the AI can be used to outline a plan to improve its resilience. Finally, the framework will recommend a test that simulates real-life cyber-attacks.


As there are still some concerns regarding the practicality of the simulation recommended by the framework, HKMA will be implementing this in phases to ensure its effectiveness. 


Across the Causeway, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has introduced a US$30 million Cybersecurity Capabilities Grant  to enhance the financial sector’s cybersecurity resilience. The funds will lend support to the cybersecurity functions of financial institutions and help local financial institutions to train their workforce on cyber-crime issues.


According to research firm IDC, Singapore is taking a lead in the region and spent 0.22 per cent of its GDP on cybersecurity in 2017 while Malaysia spent only 0.08 per cent. Back in 2018, Singapore who was the Chair or ASEAN then, proposed and committed to draw up a formal rules based framework on cybersecurity to improve confidence and relationship across the ASEAN region. Effectively, Singapore is looking and aimed to take a lead role to ensure greater collaboration and sharing of threats data and analysis amongst all ASEAN nations akin to what we have been advocating and promoting for the past few years - greater collaboration and sharing of the threats amongst all organisations in Malaysia, firstly by sectoral. Later on, this model will be promoted for sharing by all organisations operating within the ASEAN countries. 




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