Financial messaging co-operative Swift is offering institutions free hardware security modules (HSM) to help prepare for migration to its new PKI-based security architecture.
The new security framework is based on the exchange of digital signatures and public key cryptography and is being introduced as part of a planned second phase migration to the IP-based messaging network SwiftNet.
The SwiftNet PKI model replaces the current outmoded Bilateral Key Exchange method used to verify correspondents over the FIN store and forward network.
Swift says the offer of free HSMs will save SwiftNet Fin users around EUR23 million.
Pilot testing of the PKI-based security architecture began two months ago and Swift says the major SwiftNet FIN interface vendors - IBM, Logica, Software Integrators and SunGard - all now have a pilot customer installed.
A second round of 30 extra pilot customers will start testing the system in July. In preparation for this second part of the pilot, the FIN interface vendors Anasys, BankServ, Datasphere, Gifts, Sterci and TietoEnator are also testing SwiftNet release 6 and phase two.
Swift says the second part of testing will include all the SwiftNet FIN interface vendors and pilot customers and will focus on the new relationship management application (RMA) and the cluster functionality of the HSM boxes.
Migration to the new architecture will begin sometime in 2007.
The financial package for the hardware modules forms part of a raft of price reduction initiatives, including reduced FIN message tariffs, high volume discounts for intra-institution traffic, and lower charges for FIN copy messages, transmissions to market infrastructures and international InterAct traffic.
Francis Vanbever, CFO, Swift says the total value of these actions will be EUR38 million over the second half of 2006 and EUR32 million in 2007.