The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly impacted many people, businesses, and the international economy; with one of the key threats being the rise of cyber security threats and money laundering.
In fact, both the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Interpol have warned of an increase in criminal activity and fraud; where businesses and individuals can expect am increase in money laundering and terrorism financing activity is a particular concern – here is how the governments in Singapore and Hong Kong is responding to the risk.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken several strong actions against financial institutions (FIs) and individuals for market abuse, financial misconduct, and control breaches related to money laundering. To ease the worries of businesses and individuals in Singapore, MAS has stepped up its focus on early detection of market misconduct, as it works closely with various stakeholders.
In fact, MAS and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority established a joint forum to facilitate the review and enforcement of accounting-related and disclosure issues. MAS and the Singapore Exchange jointly published a trade surveillance practice guide to help brokers implement good practices in their trade surveillance operations.
On the other hand, Hong Kong is also stepping up its cyber security measures as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the launch of an upgraded Cybersecurity Fortification Initiative (CFI) 2.0. The HKMA had actually introduced the CFI in 2016, which aims to raise the cyber resilience of Hong Kong’s banking system. The initiative is underpinned by three pillars:
- the Cyber Resilience Assessment Framework (C-RAF)
- the Professional Development Programme (PDP)
- the Cyber Intelligence Sharing Platform (CISP)
Following a holistic review of the CFI and consideration of industry feedback, the CFI has been further enhanced with a view to streamlining the cyber resilience assessment process while maintaining effective control standards that are commensurate with the latest technology trends.
The CFI 2.0 will come into effect 1 January 2021 and be implemented following a phased approach, which can be found here.