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MAS unveils S$30m grant to bolster cybersecurity

Singapore

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday launched a S$30 million Cybersecurity Capabilities Grant to raise the cybersecurity capabilities of the financial sector and help financial institutions develop local talent in cybersecurity.

Funded under the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI), the grant will support the development of advanced cybersecurity functions within financial institutions.

MAS will co-fund up to 50 per cent of qualifying expenses, capped at S$3 million, for financial institutions to establish their global or regional cybersecurity centres of excellence in Singapore, and financial institutions with key global or regional cybersecurity functions and operations in the Republic to expand and deepen their cybersecurity capabilities locally.

It will also encourage Singapore-based financial institutions to upskill their local workforce through cybersecurity-related training programmes. This will help attract more cybersecurity professionals and expand the local talent pool in the financial sector.

Tan Yeow Seng, MAS's chief cybersecurity officer, said: "The Singapore financial sector has made significant progress in recent years in building up cyber resilience and managing cyber risk. But the cyber-threat landscape continues to evolve and we have to constantly strengthen our cyber capabilities."

Speaking to The Business Times, DBS, OCBC and UOB all welcomed the grant and support.

Tobias Gondrom, chief information security officer, UOB, said that it would help strengthen their collective defence against cyber attacks. While Dave Gledhill, head of group technology and operations, DBS Bank, said it is a positive step towards deepening the financial sector's cybersecurity competencies while encouraging the growth of the industry's talent pool.

But beyond technology infrastructure, both Mr Gondrom and Patrick Chew, head of operational risk management, OCBC Bank, brought up the importance of overall staff cybersecurity competency and the need to deepen cybersecurity expertise beyond pure technical security knowledge.

Mr Gondrom said UOB equips employees at all levels with relevant cybersecurity knowledge as "they too, play a part in maintaining a secure banking environment". Mr Chew said: "Cybersecurity is not just about deploying the latest technological defence systems. Often, the level of competency and vigilance of an organisation's employees can make or break its cyber defences."

  • Interested financial institutions can write to fsdf@mas.gov.sg for more information about the grant.