Cyber Security Looms Large at Sibos


The global bank-messaging cooperative SWIFT plans to put cyber-security and resiliency front and center at its annual user meeting in mid-October.

“Cyber security is certainly an issue, especially with the attacks in the U.S.” said Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of SWIFT. “Any player in the industry needs to address cyber-security issues urgently considering the sophistication of those attacks.”

Addressing market-infrastructure security is far from a new issue, added Frank Van Driessche, senior market manager at SWIFT. “When we held a forum for market infrastructure operators from around the globe three years ago, they identified resiliency as one of their leading concerns as was cyber-crime “

To address these issues, SWIFT will present panel discussion that will discuss the security best practices of other industry sectors, such as military, aviation and energy, and how the financial markets might leverage them.

The common thread amongst all of these industry sectors is if their infrastructures fail then the consequences are gigantic, according to Van Driessche.

One panel will include global cash-settlement system operator CLS sharing how it looked at military decision-making processes and applied them to its internal systems,” he noted.

“In the military decisions are either ‘go’ or ‘no go.’ It is the same in the civilian world, but decision-making process includes far more hesitation,” Van Driessche added. There will also will a discussion with the medical industry regarding how much it need to respect due process when releasing new vaccines and medicines.”

Beside best-practice discussions, SWIFT also expects to bring up other issues like which types of organizations bring more security risk to the table.

“There is a perception in the industry that smaller banks pose a greater security risk than the large ones,” said Luc Meurant, head of banking, markets and compliance services at SWIFT.

The Sibos user conference is the appropriate neutral venue to have these discussions, he added. “Security is one of those universal issues and also a non-competitive one,” he explained. “Financial institutions do not win customers by having the best security: It is not a competitive advantage.”

Featured image via Dollar Stock Photo

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