Building better defences by establishing a deeper understanding of cyber security threats
New SWIFT Institute research papers examine the cyber threat in financial services and how information can be disseminated via common platforms and a common terminology
This press release is also available in Spanish.
Brussels, 5 October, 2017 - The SWIFT Institute has published three new working papers, each aiming to contribute towards the establishment of better cyber defences for the financial industry. The research papers focus on enabling financial institutions to get ahead and stay ahead of their cyber adversaries by providing a better understanding of the actors involved, examining a means to effectively share threat information, and establishing common terminology to allow meaningful discussions between industry stakeholders.
As cybersecurity threats continue to grow, the financial services industry needs to understand the forces at work, identify patterns of behaviour, and create a common syntax around cybersecurity to facilitate better communication. In order to help organisations better equip themselves against cyber attacks, the SWIFT Institute issued three grants on cybersecurity; the resulting three research papers are now available:
“” by William A. Carter, aims to provide an understanding of the forces that shape the threat landscape in the belief that this is essential for financial institutions to get ahead and stay ahead of their adversaries in cyberspace.
“” , by Dr Jason Ferdinand with Richard Benham, attempts to establish a common language for cybersecurity to help all organisations deal with the cyber threats in their environment, and to enable meaningful discussion of these threats within and between organisations;
“” , by Elizabeth M. Petrie and Casey D. Evans, focusses on identifying the patterns of behaviour typically indicative of efforts by criminals to use insiders to cash out on fraudulent activity. The objective of this research is to enable organisations to use an existing telecommunication platform, such as SWIFT, to communicate cyber fraud threat information by establishing indicators of cash-out behaviour, which could warn of cyber fraud activity;
“As cyber threats become increasingly prevalent within the financial services industry, firms are having to step up their cyber defences,” says Peter Ware, Director of the SWIFT Institute. “It is only by collaborating as an industry that we will be in a stronger position to mitigate these threats. It is our hope to eventually build on this published research to more effectively recognise forces at play, to establish a common language, and to build tools that will identify patterns of behaviour. All this will better enable the useful dissemination of threat activity reports to the wider financial community.”
As cyber threats become increasingly prevalent within the financial services industry, firms are having to step up their cyber defences.
Peter Ware, Director of the SWIFT Institute
The SWIFT Institute will be showcasing the results of these working papers at Sibos 2017 in Toronto. These sessions will be held on Tuesday, 17 October in the dedicated SWIFT Institute Room (#703) at the following times:
- Forces Shaping the Cyber Threat Landscape 09:00 - 09:45 (repeated Thursday 19 at 10:00)
- Sharing Insider Threat Indicators: Examining the Potential Use of SWIFT's Messaging Platform to Combat Cyber Fraud 10:00 - 10:45
- The Cyber Security Ecosystem: Defining a Taxonomy of Existing, Emerging and Future Cyber Threats 15:30 - 16:15
The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors. SWIFT and the SWIFT Institute have not made any editorial review of this paper, therefore the views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of either SWIFT or the SWIFT Institute.
About SWIFT Institute
Launched in April 2012, the SWIFT Institute fosters independent research to extend the understanding of current practices and future needs across the financial industry. Managed by SWIFT, and working in close collaboration with academics from top international universities, the SWIFT Institute brings the financial industry and academia together to explore ideas and share knowledge on topics of global importance. The research covers four broad areas: Payments, Estimating, Compliance / Regulation; and Technology / Cyber.
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SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.
Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.
As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern.
Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.
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