Cybersecurity risks during the COVID-19 outbreak

On the 26 March 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”) has issued a Circular addressing the unprecedented cybersecurity risks that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the financial services sector. As many licence holders are reverting to contingency measures such as remote working arrangements, the risks of unauthorised access and leakage of sensitive data have increased.

There have already been reported cases by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (“ENISA”),the Computer Emergency Response Team (“CERT-EU”) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (“EUROPOL”) of phishing attempts referencing the COVID-19. In this regard, the MFSA reminded licence holders of their obligation to ensure that their staff and systems remain resilient to cybersecurity risks. In achieving this, licence holders should ensure that they keep up with any developments within the cybersecurity sphere as well as providing adequate training to their staff.

Feel free to contact us with regards if you require any further information on the contingency measures required in relation to cybersecurity risks.