By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter
BANKS and other financial firms will soon be required to report cyber attacks and similar technology-related glitches within two hours, following the approval of new rules by the central bank.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said the Monetary Board approved on Thursday afternoon new guidelines that mandate supervised firms to report digital breaches immediately upon discovery of the incident.
This comes as the regulator tightens its watch on players as they employ wider use of digital channels.
Ms. Fonacier said the central bank will soon issue a circular to implement the new standard.
“Initial reporting of very basic info is within two hours from incident, with a follow-up report containing more relevant details required within 24 hours from incident,” Financial Technology Sub-Sector officer in charge Vicente T. de Villa III said via text message when asked for more details.
Banks will also have to file reports on crimes and losses, where they must disclose the costs incurred from cases of theft and fraud, among others.
The central bank is encouraging increased use of electronic channels for payments and fund transfers to bring down transaction cost while promoting wider use of formal financial services. This is in line with the BSP’s goal to raise the share of electronic payments to 20% of total transactions by 2020, coming from a measly 1% share in 2013 as the economy remains cash-heavy.
Ms. Fonacier previously said they are also coordinating with the Bankers Association of the Philippines for an industry-led reporting platform for such threats, which would also provide a heads-up to other lenders about emerging cybersecurity issues faced by local players.
Results of the maiden Banking Sector Outlook Survey conducted by the central bank among bank executives showed that 71% of lenders are looking to use financial technology in their businesses, which is seen to enhance customer experience while improving overall efficiency.
A separate study conducted by FINTQnologies Corp., however, showed that the smaller thrift, rural and cooperative banks as well as microfinance lenders have “minimal capacity” to embrace digital solutions, as 90% of these firms do not have electronic banking platforms.