The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was established in late 2009 as an independent statutory authority to regulate and supervise the Australian financial services industry. APRA’s key objective is to ensure that Australia’s financial services industries are prudentially sound and that depositors, policy holders and members are protected. Here, we’ll explore how APRA compliance regulations, particularly CPS 234 Information Security, apply to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and the ramifications for businesses that don’t comply with these regulations.

If a business doesn’t comply with APRA’s compliance regulations, it may be subject to financial penalties, including the imposition of additional capital requirements or restrictions on its operations. In severe cases, APRA may revoke the business’s authorisation to operate.

What are the key requirements for CPS 234?

If you’re an SME owner or manager, it’s important to make sure you understand the APRA compliance regulations that apply to your business and take steps to ensure you comply with them.

CPS 234 requires APRA-regulated entities to:
• clearly define information-security related roles and responsibilities;
• maintain an information security capability commensurate with the size and extent of threats
to their information assets;
• implement controls to protect information assets and undertake regular testing and
assurance of the effectiveness of controls; and
• promptly notify APRA of material information security incidents.

How do we ensure that you’re complying with the help of IT?

There are a number of IT solutions available that can help you comply with APRA’s regulations, including data encryption, data leakage prevention and intrusion detection systems. When it comes to cybersecurity and common threats, an effective framework to follow is: Protect, Detect and Respond.

In order to ensure we cover all bases in applying security measures, there are 4 steps to consider when implementing a solution:

  1. Know what you need to comply with and what the exact requirements are.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment to see where you are currently and where you need to be.
  3. Determine what actions, frameworks, or policies need to be in place to ensure that you’re compliant.
  4. Simplify your compliance and governance workflow so you’re able to track and record activities.

As an example, Vestone Capital had a strategic plan to tensure the these steps were taken into considering whens standing up their environment to better service their customers. They provide flexible asset financing solutions for organisations, to help them scale and seize new opportunities, or transform with new technology. This SME had undergone a divestiture from Macquarie Capital and needed to comply with APRA regulations.

Download the case study to see what they did to ensure their environment was secure and compliant. Here is some more information on Microsoft’s response to CPS 234 complying with the use of their cloud services.

Conclusion

It’s hard to know if there will be a cyber attack on your business, when and by who as these things can be so unpredictable. But to have that extra piece of mind, implementing these steps and a tackling it strategically through IT, can go a long way towards helping you meet your obligations and protect your business from financial penalties. So, if you’re an SME owner or manager, make sure you understand the APRA compliance regulations that apply to your business and take steps to ensure you’re complying with them.

If you need any additional support or have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team of experts on hand to support you throughout your cloud project, right from the earliest stages of initial engagement and understanding, through to assisting in implementing a solution that’s right for you.

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