The threat from cyber attackers "is more organized and global than ever before", according to Yawar Shah, chairman of SWIFT, the international correspondent banking network that connects 11,000 banks around the world and facilitates cross-border payments.
Speaking at the 2017 SWIFT Business Forum in London last week, Shah warned that it was "not enough" for every bank to have its own defenses anymore. "You also need to protect the infrastructure", he said on 25 April at the event in East London.
SWIFT unveiled a new payment controls service in London that is designed to bolster its customers' fraud and cyber-crime controls. "It is aimed at smaller banks initially and intended to help them detect unusual customer flows and suspect activity before a payment message instruction is sent," said Shah.
The new launch is accessible in the cloud and forms part of SWIFT's Customer Security Programme (CSP). This was launched last year after various hacking incidents involving Bangladesh Bank and, before that, Vietnam's Tien Phong Bank and Ecuador's Banco del Austro SA, which collectively threatened to undermine trust in the global banking platform.
The CSP includes educational security training for SWIFT's many end users and a self-attestation requirement that all banks meet minimum security standards by the end of this year, which will be policed and regularly checked with various risk models and test scenarios.