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We Are Watching You, Aussie Banks, APRA Outfit Warns

SYDNEY: Australian banks and other big money handlers have copped a grim warming from the little-known, but quite powerful Australian Prudential Rights Association, or APRA, not to be confused with the slightly better known Australian Performing Rights Association, which also likes to use the APRA initials.

The Prudential rights APRA, based in Sydney, likes to keep a very sharp eye on big business, especially the bits involved in the financial services industry.

It has revealed plans to take a tighter control over certain activities in this industry. APRA has said it plans to take a more targeted approach to ensure financial institutions are complying with cyber security standards. And it says it will hold boards and management accountable if there are any breaches.

APRA executive board member Geoff Summerhayes in a speech late last week noted that cyber risks are on the rise, in part due to the rapid transition to online and remote working arrangements due to Covid-19.

“In prioritising their ability to keep operating, many of the entities we regulate needed to make compromises to their normal information security protocols to facilitate the sudden switch to remote-work arrangements for most or all employees,“ he said.

“Very few entities have gone back to firmly close the gates they left ajar in March,” he told the forum.

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