Media Releases
Published Date: 07 April 2018

MAS reminds financial institutions to stay vigilant against cybersecurity threats

Singapore, 6 April 2018…The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued an advisory to remind financial institutions to remain vigilant, following recent reports of cyber incidents overseas where attackers attempted fraudulent fund transfers using the SWIFT system.

2   Mr Tan Yeow Seng, MAS’ Chief Cyber Security Officer, said, “The recent cyber incidents present yet another reminder of the constant cyber threats to our financial sector. It is important for all financial institutions to be vigilant. MAS has been working with financial institutions in Singapore on a number of initiatives to continuously deepen the sector’s cyber capabilities, taking into account the rapidly changing cyber threat landscape.”

3   MAS’ advisory reminds financial institutions to continue to strengthen measures to safeguard themselves in the following areas:

(a) Implement a layered security approach to protect IT environment as well as appropriate measures to secure SWIFT payment terminals. 

(b) Employ strong access controls to restrict the usage of administrator-level system accounts on SWIFT servers.

(c) Perform payment reconciliation/monitoring of SWIFT messages to detect any fraudulent payments in a timely manner. 

4   MAS regularly assesses financial institutions’ cyber resilience through its supervisory programmes. Where there are areas of potential vulnerabilities, MAS requires the financial institution to develop a remedial plan and will monitor the financial institution’s rectification of such gaps. MAS will continue to work with our financial institutions and industry partners to enhance the financial sector’s cyber resilience.