Media Releases
Published Date: 18 January 2021

MAS Enhances Guidelines to Combat Heightened Cyber Risks

Singapore, 18 January 2021… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today issued revised Technology Risk Management Guidelines (578.7 KB) (Guidelines) to keep pace with emerging technologies and shifts in the cyber threat landscape.

2     The revised Guidelines focus on addressing technology and cyber risks in an environment of growing use by financial institutions (FIs) of cloud technologies, application programming interfaces, and rapid software development. The Guidelines reinforce the importance of incorporating security controls as part of FIs’ technology development and delivery lifecycle, as well as in the deployment of emerging technologies. 

3     The recent spate of cyber attacks on supply chains, which targeted multiple IT service providers through the exploitation of widely-used network management software, is a clear indication of a worsening cyber threat environment. The revised Guidelines set out the following enhanced risk mitigation strategies for FIs –

  • to establish a robust process for the timely analysis and sharing of cyber threat intelligence within the financial ecosystem; and
  • to conduct cyber exercises to allow FIs to stress test their cyber defences by simulating the attack tactics, techniques, and procedures used by real-world attackers.

4     In light of FIs’ growing reliance on third party service providers, the revised Guidelines set out the expectation for FIs to exercise strong oversight of arrangements with third party service providers, to ensure system resilience as well as maintain data confidentiality and integrity.

5     The revised Guidelines provide additional guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and senior management –

  • the board and senior management should ensure that a Chief Information Officer and a Chief Information Security Officer, with the requisite experience and expertise, are appointed and accountable for managing technology and cyber risks; and
  • the board should include members with the relevant knowledge to provide effective oversight of technology and cyber risks.

6     The revised Guidelines have incorporated feedback received from the public consultation (728.4 KB) conducted in 2019, MAS’ engagement with the industry, and MAS’ Cyber Security Advisory Panel (CSAP).The CSAP, which was formed in 2017, comprises leading cyber security experts and thought leaders from around the world. The panel advises MAS on strategies to enhance cyber resilience in the financial system. MAS thanks all respondents for the invaluable suggestions in shaping the Guidelines.

7     Mr Tan Yeow Seng, Chief Cyber Security Officer, MAS, said, “Technology now underpins most aspects of financial services. Not only are financial institutions adopting new technologies, they are also increasingly reliant on third party service providers. The revised Guidelines set out MAS’ higher expectations in the areas of technology risk governance and security controls in financial institutions.”


Additional information

The Technology Risk Management Guidelines are a set of best practices that provide FIs with guidance on the oversight of technology risk management, practices and controls to address technology and cyber risks. MAS expects FIs to observe the guidelines as this will be considered in MAS’ risk assessment of the FIs.

The Guidelines should be read with the Notice on Technology Risk Management and Notice on Cyber Hygiene.