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MBA's annual conference raises awareness on complexity of Cyber Risk in banking industry


The MBA recently organised a half-day conference on Cyber Risk in the banking industry. This year’s theme aimed at enhancing awareness on this current risk, with a view of improving its effective governance in credit institutions.

The event was successful and achieved its aims, with over 100 participants attending the conference. The proceedings were kicked off with a welcome address by Marcel Cassar, MBA Chair and CEO of APS Bank plc.

Mr Cassar emphasised that it is critical for all relevant stakeholders not only to protect our banks and financial systems from the risk of cybercrime but also to be aware of the linkages with other technologies and channels that may compound the systemic risk.

The MBA Chair said “The management of cyber risk in banks is much more than an IT discussion. We know from experience that the five most efficient cyber defenders are basic to any risk management solution. They are: Anticipation, Education, Detection, Reaction and Resilience.”

Mr Cassar was then followed by an opening speech delivered by Daniela Bagnaschi, Head of Data Management and Business Intelligence MFSA. Ms Bagnaschi drew ties between the MFSA’s vision and plans for risk mitigation in the cyber space, and elaborated on the crucial aspects of the triad comprising People, Process and Technology, as well as its impact on the cyber resilience framework of regulated entities.

Other presentations were delivered by Daniel German, Information Security Officer at the Central Bank of Malta, Sandra Saliba, Senior Analyst, Securities and Markets Supervision at the MFSA, Daniele Frasca, Director, Cyber Risk Services Deloitte in Milan, Italy, Nancy Masschelein, Head of Section of Methodology and Data Management DG III at the ECB and Alexandra Maniati, Head of Cybersecurity & Innovation at the EBF.

An interesting and informative section of the Conference was the panel discussion featuring Inspector Timothy Zammit, Malta Police Cyber Crime Unit; Nancy Masschelein, ECB; Alexandra Maniati, EBF; Daniele Frasca, Deloitte, Italy and Matthew Yeomans from the Malta Government’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit who substituted John Agius, Director of Unit who was unfortunately unable to attend. The panel discussion will be moderated by Rodney Naudi, Member of the MBA’s Cybersecurity Sub-Committee and MBA representative on EBF’s Cyber Security Working Group.

The event was facilitated by Karol Gabarretta, Secretary General of the MBA who said: “This event was an important one as it emphasised the need for wider stakeholder involvement in raising awareness on the various cyber risks in the banking industry, but also the financial services sector in general. Likewise, the involvement of all stakeholders is required in the mitigation of these ever-growing and evolving risks.”