The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

MFSA launches consultation exercise on cybersecurity threats

Saturday, 9 February 2019, 10:54 Last update: about 11 months ago

The Malta Financial Services Authority has launched a public consultation on mitigating against cybersecurity threats.

Observing how the financial services industry is undergoing a digital transformation, introducing innovative products, services and organisational forms, the Authority also warned that recent technological advancements such as distributed ledger technology foster innovation within the financial services industry, they also introduce new opportunities for cybercrime.

The Authority said it has identified the need to ensure that the industry implements the necessary cybersecurity solutions in order to effectively mitigate cyber threats and therefore address the need for market integrity and consumer protection.

In this context, the Authority has launched a consultation on a set of Guidance Notes on Cybersecurity, which will be applicable to companies such as Professional Investor Funds investing in Virtual Currencies, VFA Agents, Issuers and VFA Service Providers.

On the launch of this Consultation, MFSA Chief Executive Officer Joseph Cuschieri noted that, “The MFSA’s objective is to provide increased certainty in a complex digital world. These Guidance Notes reflect the Authority’s approach towards effective management of risks and the understanding of risk factors directly linked to an entity’s operation in the financial services landscape. Indeed, the newly launched MFSA Vision 2021, identifies the application of a risk based supervisory approach as one of the key pillars of this strategy.”

The Authority’s proposals build on a number of initiatives taken at international level focused on establishing regulatory frameworks governing the cybersecurity requirements of various actors across the financial industry, including guidelines by the European Banking Authority. These standards, being mainly driven by industry-specific needs, provide a basis for cybersecurity strategies proportionate to the changing threat landscape. This rise in initiatives relating to cybersecurity is imminently confronted with ever-more sophisticated cyber-attacks driven by various threat agents.

The consultation is open to the public until 8 March.

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