The United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) carried out a cross-border cybersecurity exercise, which allowed both agencies to test and strengthen existing protocols for information exchange and incident response coordination for cyber incidents involving banks operating in both jurisdictions.
Given the rising cyber threats targeting financial services, and the interconnectedness of the United States’ and Singapore’s financial ecosystems, timely coordination and cooperation during a cyber incident with cross-border impact is essential in ensuring a swift response and effective recovery of the affected operations. The exercise came, following the Memorandum of Understanding on Cybersecurity Cooperation signed between Treasury and MAS in August 2021.
Todd Conklin, deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection at Treasury said, “This exercise is a significant step forward for the cyber partnership between the United States and Singapore, representing an effort to bolster cybersecurity cooperation and our ability to communicate in response to a significant cross-border incident. We appreciate our Singapore partners for working with us to make that possible. Every day we are reminded that cyber threats cross all national borders as there has been an exponential growth in threat actor activities. We must have a coordinated international response to the increase in threats, as the interconnectedness of our financial systems makes us only as strong as our weakest endpoints”.
Vincent Loy, assistant managing director for technology at MAS said, “As the United States and Singapore are major international financial hubs where a number of global systemically important banks operate, the cyber resiliency of these institutions in the respective countries has systemic implications on financial stability globally. The exercise is a key milestone in Treasury and MAS’ continued and close cooperation to strengthen our collective cybersecurity preparedness, and safeguard financial stability”.
Following the exercise, Treasury and MAS reviewed the lessons gleaned, discussed possible enhancements and involvement of other international partners in future exercises, and explored other opportunities to deepen cybersecurity cooperation, such as holding bilateral workshops on cybersecurity policies and protocols.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker