MFSA Launches Consultation On Cybersecurity For Financial Assets

8th February 2019

The guidelines are targeted at entities operating in the virtual financial assets sector.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) 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.

“The financial services industry is undergoing a digital transformation, introducing innovative products, services and organisational forms. Yet, while recent technological advancements such as distributed ledger technology foster innovation within the financial services industry, they also introduce new opportunities for cybercrime,” a statement from the Authority said.

“The MFSA’s objective is to provide increased certainty in a complex digital world,” said MFSA Chief Executive Officer Joseph Cuschieri. “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 2019. Industry participants and interested parties are invited to send their responses through an online survey, available through this link.

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