SWIFT to Enlist Regulators to Enhance Cybersecurity Requirements

September 12th, 2016

Recurring Theme:  Data Privacy & Security

Summary Analysis: 

SWIFT, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, reported on the onset of new hostile cyber attacks this summer against banks using SWIFT-enabled transactions.  The global provider of financial messaging sent a private letter to its clients warning, “customers’ environments have been compromised,” adding, cybersecurity threats are “persistent, adaptive and sophisticated.”

The information from SWIFT raises red flags for global financial services regulators, as previous similar disclosures have triggered regulatory scrutiny. Especially following this February’s attack against Bangladesh Bank that resulted in more than $80 million in losses, SWIFT has urged its users to implement new security requirements. The new protective measures must be implemented by November 19, 2016. SWIFT has indicated it may notify European Union (EU) and United States (US) regulators to enlist their help if banks don’t comply.