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Singapore to bolster threat intelligence sharing in financial sector

Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency has partnered the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre to glean cyber threat intelligence for the country’s financial industry

Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) has teamed up with a US-based threat intelligence centre to facilitate sharing of intelligence information and conduct joint cyber security exercises to protect the country’s financial services sector.

With more than 7,000 members, including banks and insurance companies in over 45 countries, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (FS-ISAC) will offer CSA a perspective of the global threat landscape, as well as threats that might affect the financial industry, one of 11 critical information infrastructure sectors in Singapore.

In September 2018, the CSA will also be participating in FS-ISAC’s Cyber-Attack Against Payment Systems (Caps) exercises that simulate real-world incidents designed to test an organisation’s ability to defend against cyber attacks on payment systems.

Kunal Sehgal, Asia-Pacific executive director of FS-ISAC, said the organisation works with threat intelligence suppliers, as well as operates a regional analysis centre in Singapore, to mitigate threats concerning the financial industry.

So far, the centre has helped FS-ISAC members respond to major incidents in the region, such as the October 2017 malware attack on the Far Eastern International Bank of Taiwan, which had $60m of its funds routed to accounts in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the US via fraudulent Swift messages.

“Cyber security is a global concern,” said Bill Nelson, president and CEO of FS-ISAC. “One of the best ways to defend the financial services sector against cyber attacks is through information sharing and readiness exercises.

“Cyber criminals are collaborating to break down defences, which is why it’s now more important than ever for us to work together on the global, regional and country levels both in terms of information sharing and conducting joint exercises to stay ahead of cyber crime,” he added.

CSA chief executive David Koh agreed, noting that the “FS-ISAC has made much progress in this area. We look forward to our partnership to address pressing cyber security issues together, and to further expand intelligence sharing”.

The CSA, which also operates a National Cyber Threat Analysis Centre, has been stressing the importance of cyber security cooperation between international and regional partners.

So far, it has established partnerships on cyber security cooperation with countries such as Germany, Japan, UK, France, India, the Netherlands, Britain, the US and Australia.

In June 2017, the CSA and the Australian government said they will conduct regular information exchanges on cyber threats, share best practices to promote innovation in cyber security and build cyber security capabilities. Joint cyber security exercises that focus on protecting critical information infrastructure will also be conducted.

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