Security & Fraud

SWIFT Examines New Cyberattack Prevention Tech

SWIFT Security Measures

In an effort to improve security, the global interbank messaging system said it would begin discussions with its users about new measures and tools that will assist the detection of fraudulent payment instructions, Reuters reported late last week.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, better known as SWIFT, said it may also make security practices that are optional in its system — such as two-factor authentication of payment instructions — a requirement for all customers.

Though the co-operative has kept a sole focus on passing authenticated messages between banks for some time, in the wake of recent cybersecurity threats and breaches, it may soon expand its role.

According to Reuters, SWIFT may soon start looking directly into the messages it facilitates to confirm that payment instructions are both accurate and consistent. This may help to quickly identify any anomalies or red flags in a customer’s account patterns.

SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt recently confirmed the messaging service will introduce a new five-point security plan. During a financial services conference in Brussels, Leibbrandt also noted that the Bangladesh Bank heist was a “watershed event for the banking industry.”

SWIFT plans to “drastically” improve information sharing, strengthen the procedures around its systems and utilize more software that may help to detect fraudulent payments.

“We can provide tools and best practices for such a detection at the receiving bank,” Leibbrandt explained, adding that SWIFT will also toughen up on the guidelines used by auditors and regulators when assessing a bank’s procedures.

“Many of the less protected banks are in countries w[h]ere skills are really scarce,” he added.

“We will have to create an ecosystem of providers and partners — for example, by introducing certification requirements for third-party providers.”



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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