SWIFT Strengthens Security with New Payment Controls
SWIFT has launched a real-time payment controls service to add to its customers’ existing fraud controls, according to Paybefore sister publication Banking Technology. The fraud and cybercrime prevention service permits its customers to screen their payment messages according to their own chosen parameters, “enabling them to immediately detect any unusual message flows before transmission,” according to an April 12 company announcement.
The new payment controls are a “direct response to our community’s request for additional services to complement and strengthen existing fraud controls,” said Yawar Shah, chairman of SWIFT, a Belgium-based, bank-owned co-op and provider of financial messaging services. The payment controls, part of the company’s Customer Security Program, initially is for smaller financial institutions and central banks. It will be launched as a hosted utility solution, which will provide its users with instant access, without the need for 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 with which it’s typically involved.
This latest service is part of SWIFT’s long-running battle with cybersecurity issues. Last year, Symantec found evidence that a cybercriminal group mounted attacks on SWIFT 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,” according to the company. The modules were also a critical part of its Customer Security Program launched in May 2016.