What to Know about MAS TRM Compliance

Ensure MAS TRM Compliance with softScheck's Cybersecurity Services

Oct'23 Task 1 - cybersecurity-services-in-singapore-1000x667

In today’s rapidly digitalising financial ecosystem, maintaining robust cybersecurity postures is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity. Particularly for institutions under the purview of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and its Technology Risk Management (TRM) Guidelines, prioritising compliance is crucial.

This article will explain MAS TRM compliance and advise why partnering with trusted cybersecurity companies in Singapore, such as softScheck, is the best route forward.

What is MAS TRM and Why is it Important?

MAS TRM stands as a regulatory framework crafted to uphold the integrity of the financial sector in Singapore. Instituted by the MAS, the MAS TRM guidelines aim to instil best practices in IT risk management, ensuring that all MAS licensed institutions are equipped to fend off cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Unpacking the MAS TRM Guidelines

The guidelines touch upon multiple facets of IT security, each instrumental in fostering a resilient and secure operational environment for financial institutions.

1. Vulnerability Assessment (VA)

One of the most pivotal facets is a Vulnerability Assessment (VA) in Singapore. This procedure mandates regular assessments of IT systems to spot potential security vulnerabilities. Financial institutions can address emerging threats in real-time by keeping the frequency of these assessments in line with the system’s criticality and exposure to security risks.

Beyond pinpointing vulnerabilities, the depth of these assessments encompasses the identification of weak security setups, open network ports, and vulnerabilities within applications. Specifically for web-based systems, the MAS TRM guidelines emphasise thorough inspections for prevalent web-related vulnerabilities.

2. Penetration Testing (PT)

Closely related yet distinct is the concept of Penetration Testing (PT) in Singapore. PT offers a more in-depth insight into an institution’s cybersecurity defences. The MAS TRM guidelines recommend a blend of blackbox and greybox testing, especially for online financial services.

This exhaustive evaluation is not limited to internal teams. Through bug bounty programmes, external ethical hackers, known colloquially as “white hat” hackers, can be incentivised to unearth potential vulnerabilities. Such an open approach ensures a more comprehensive security net, patching potential areas of oversight. PT exercises are recommended on production environments, albeit with proper safeguards to prevent unintended disruptions.

3. Adversarial attack simulation exercise

Additionally, financial institutions are required to conduct adversarial attack simulation exercises. Here, red teaming plays a pivotal role in helping financial institutions assess their defences. Through adversarial attack simulation exercises, they challenge and validate the effectiveness of an institution’s cyber defence and response measures against prevailing cyber threats.

4. IT audits

In accordance with the MAS TRM guidelines, it is imperative for financial institutions to conduct IT audits. This offers the board of directors and senior management a clear, objective insight into the adequacy of risk management, governance, and internal controls in light of current and emerging tech risks. Institutions must ascertain that their IT auditors possess the necessary expertise and skills, ensuring an effective evaluation of IT policies, procedures, and established controls.

For a thorough IT security audit in Singapore, financial institutions should pinpoint a comprehensive range of technology risk areas.

Partner with the Right Provider

As cybersecurity requirements grow in complexity, the value of outsourcing these needs comes into the spotlight. The era of digital transformation has ushered in a host of advanced cybersecurity risks. To navigate this evolving landscape effectively, organisations often require external expertise.

This is where cybersecurity services in Singapore play a vital role. Among the myriad options, softScheck stands out as a trusted partner, uniquely positioned to help institutions align with the MAS TRM guidelines. softScheck not only brings in-depth domain knowledge but also has a proven track record, ensuring that compliance doesn’t come at the expense of operational efficiency.

As we march towards an increasingly digital future, remember that with the right partners by your side, you’re not just prepared for what lies ahead; you’re poised to thrive. For more information, view the MAS TRM guidelines in detail and get in touch with softScheck for a comprehensive understanding today.