Swift calling time on cybercrime with new payment controls
Swift has unveiled a new real-time payment controls service to add to its customers’ existing fraud controls.
The new fraud and cybercrime prevention service will enable its customers to screen their payment messages according to their own chosen parameters, “enabling them to immediately detect any unusual message flows before transmission”.
Yawar Shah, chairman of Swift, says it is a “direct response to our community’s request for additional services to complement and strengthen existing fraud controls”.
The service, part of its Customer Security Programme, is initially targeted at smaller financial institutions and central banks, and will be launched as a hosted utility solution, which will allow its users to “access it instantly, with no hardware or software installation or maintenance”. The service will develop a profile of each Swift user’s message traffic based on its specific business activities and the countries, counterparties and currencies it is typically involved with.
This latest development is part of Swift’s long-running saga of combatting cybersecurity issues.
Last year, Symantec found evidence that the Odinaff group mounted attacks on Swift users, using malware to hide customers’ own records of Swift messages relating to fraudulent transactions. That was bad news for Swift but its fight back against these attacks has been extensive and ongoing. It has spoken strongly on the subject and unveiled SwiftSmart modules to help its customers operate their Swift environment “securely and in-line with best practice”. The modules were also a “critical part” of its Customer Security Programme launched in May 2016. That five-part plan was a result of various hacking incidents.