Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) said it is stepping up its monitoring of the situation in the financial sector “in an operating environment where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia are creating uncertainty.”

The Helsinki-based watchdog issued a statement on Friday afternoon, saying the events had not yet had any significant detrimental effect on Finland’s financial sector, but urged all its supervised entities to ensure their protective measures against various cyber threats were up to date.

The FSA said in a statement: “At this stage, the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) is drawing its supervised entities’ attention particularly to enforcement of sanctions and preparedness for cyber risks.”

The Finnish financial sector was stable it said, and therefore faces the changed situation from a good foundation.

EU and G7 countries had imposed sanctions on Russia affecting banks, companies and private individuals, the authority said, with Russian banks excluded from the international SWIFT payment system, and wider restrictions imposed on transactions with its central bank, and the export of certain products and technologies to Russia.

“EU sanctions are directly binding on all supervised entities of the FIN-FSA, and compliance with them is important from the standpoint of supervised entities’ risk management,” the FSA said.

The watchdog warned that the escalation of the international security situation increased the possibility of cyber attacks against financial sector actors and service providers.

“It is important for supervised entities to be able to detect security breaches in ICT environments and to react immediately to cyber incidents and disruptions,” it said.

FIN-FSA said ICT environment risk assessments, risk management measures and technical protections had to be kept up to date, adding that this also applied to outsourced services throughout the supply chain.

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