Swift majors on interface security

Source: Swift

SWIFT announces the launch of a campaign to increase awareness for existing security features in its interface products.

The campaign is part of SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme and aims to help customers apply existing security features to better protect their SWIFT access.

SWIFT’s products include a wide range of inbuilt security tools and functionalities allowing customers to protect their access to the SWIFT network and safely manage their correspondent relationships. The new campaign will focus in particular on raising awareness for SWIFT’s Relationship Management Application (RMA) and 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) in SWIFT products.

Stephen Gilderdale, Head of SWIFT’s recently launched Customer Security Programme, said: “We are focussed not only on encouraging customers to secure their environments - which is the most important defence against cyber-attacks, but also on further enhancing security features in SWIFT products and on promoting community adoption of our existing tools and controls. Through this awareness campaign we aim to make sure our users make the most of SWIFT’s existing security tools and controls.”

RMA is a filter that enables users to manage their correspondent relationships and is a first line of defence against unwanted or unexpected message flows. It allows users to select and limit the correspondents from whom they wish to receive messages, as well as to restrict the type of messages that they receive. Effective use of RMA allows customers to mitigate the risk of receiving unwanted or fraudulent payments, and to ensure that message traffic is only permitted with trusted parties. RMA arrangements can be rapidly revoked should a customer wish to cease sending or receiving financial messages with a particular counterparty over SWIFT. RMA is built into a number of SWIFT interfaces and is also available as a standalone product.

The awareness campaign will present best practice of using RMA, emphasise the risk of maintaining inactive relationships and demonstrate how to manage relationships on an ongoing basis. Customer engagement is underway across EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

SWIFT also aims to drive customer adoption of 2FA in its products to help customers better protect access to their SWIFT interfaces. SWIFT’s recent mandatory releases of Alliance Access (7.1.20) and Alliance Web Platform (7.0.70) have been designed to increase customers’ application of 2FA in SWIFT interfaces. The latest releases complement the products’ existing 2FA functionality with an out-of-the-box solution to suit smaller and medium sized customers and also introduce stronger default password management and enhanced integrity-checking features.

SWIFT’s CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt, added: “We are committed to playing an important role in developing the industry response to the cyber security challenge. Investment for our Customer Security Programme has been earmarked by the Board, and work is well underway on its further development and roll-out. By working in close consultation with our customer community and promoting the use of existing security features and controls, SWIFT is helping institutions to protect themselves against potential cyber security threats.”

About SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme
SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme, which launched in June 2016, is a dedicated initiative designed to reinforce and evolve the security of global banking, consolidating and building upon existing SWIFT and industry efforts. The programme will clearly define an operational and security baseline that customers must meet to protect the processing and handling of their SWIFT transactions. SWIFT will also continue to enhance its own products and services to provide customers with additional protection and detection mechanisms, and in turn help customers to meet these baselines.

The programme will focus on five mutually reinforcing strategic initiatives:

Improving information sharing amongst the global community
Enhancing SWIFT related tools for customers
Enhance guidelines and provide assurance frameworks
Support increased transaction pattern controls
Enhance support by third party providers.

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