SWIFT unveils plan for new security plan.
Security & Fraud

SWIFT Preps For Security Program Launch

To help repair its damaged reputation, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) announced on Tuesday (May 24) that it plans to launch a new security plan to help combat ongoing bank heists.

Reuters reported that SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt confirmed the global interbank messaging system will introduce a new five-point plan this week. During a financial services conference in Brussels, Leibbrandt also noted that the Bangladesh Bank heist was a “watershed event for the banking industry.”

“There will be a before and an after Bangladesh. The Bangladesh fraud is not an isolated incident … This is a big deal. And it gets to the heart of banking,” he continued.

Since the massive hack took place, blame for the incident has been thrown around and has, at one point or another, landed on the bank itself, SWIFT and even the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

But SWIFT has clarified that it does not hold any liability for fraudulent transactions originating from cyberattacks on its customers’ networks.

Though no blame has officially been placed on the messaging system or its network, SWIFT may see this latest endeavor as an effort to help rebuild its slightly tarnished public image.

According to Reuters, 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 to the conference, 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.”

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