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SWIFT Customer Security Controls Framework v2019

SWIFT has published the new Customer Security Controls Framework (CSCF) v2019, which provides additional guidance and clarification on the implementation guidelines and includes changes to the existing controls - these include promoting three to mandatory and two new advisory controls.

The CSCF v2019 should be consulted to help you plan and budget any action required on your part. The CSCF v2019 will not become effective in the KYC-SA, the online repository for customer attestations until July 2019. Attesting compliance against the CSCF v2019 will be mandatory by the end of 2019.

Customer Security Framework v2019
Mandatory Security Controls Control Objective

1. Restrict Internet Access and Protect Critical Systems from General IT Environment

1.1 SWIFT Environment Protection Ensure the protection of the user's local SWIFT infrastructure from potentially compromised elements of the general IT environment and external environment.

1.2 Operating System Privileged Account Control

Restrict and control the allocation and usage of administrator-level operating system accounts.

2. Reduce Attack Surface and Vulnerabilities
2.1 Internal Data Flow Security

Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data flows between local SWIFT-related applications and their link to the operator PC.

2.2 Security Updates Minimize the occurrence of known technical vulnerabilities within the local SWIFT infrastructure by ensuring vendor support, applying mandatory software updates, and applying timely security updates aligned to the assessed risk.
2.3 System Hardening Reduce the cyber attack surface of SWIFT-related components by performing system hardening.
2.6 Operator Session Confidentiality and Integrity* Protect the confidentiality and integrity of interactive operator sessions connecting to the local SWIFT infrastructure.
2.7 Vulnerability Scanning* Identify known vulnerabilities within the local SWIFT environment by implementing a regular vulnerability scanning process and act upon results.
3. Physically Secure the Environment
3.1 Physical Security Prevent unauthorised physical access to sensitive equipment, workplace environments, hosting sites, and storage.
4. Prevent Compromise of Credentials
4.1 Password Policy Ensure passwords are sufficiently resistant against common password attacks by implementing and enforcing an effective password policy.
4.2 Multi-factor Authentication Prevent that a compromise of a single authentication factor allows access into SWIFT systems, by implementing multi-factor authentication.
5. Manage Identities and Segregate Privileges
5.1 Logical Access Control Enforce the security principles of need-to-know access, least privilege, and segregation of duties for operator accounts.
5.2 Token Management Ensure the proper management, tracking, and use of connected hardware authentication tokens (if tokens are used).
5.4 Physical and Logical Password storage* Protect physically and logically recorded passwords.
6. Detect Anomalous Activity to Systems or Transaction Records
6.1 Malware Protection Ensure that local SWIFT infrastructure is protected against malware.
6.2 Software Integrity Ensure the software integrity of the SWIFT-related applications.

6.3 Database Integrity

Ensure the integrity of the database records for the SWIFT messaging interface.
6.4 Logging and Monitoring Record security events and detect anomalous actions and operations within the local SWIFT environment.
7. Plan for Incident Response and Information Sharing
7.1 Cyber Incident Response Planning Ensure a consistent and effective approach for the management of cyber incidents.
7.2 Security Training and Awareness Ensure all staff are aware of and fulfil their security responsibilities by performing regular security training and awareness activities.

* new advisory controls

Advisory Security Controls Control objective
1. Restrict Internet Access & Protect Critical Systems from General IT Environment
1.3A Virtualisation Platform Protection* Secure virtualisation platform and virtual machines (VM’s) hosting SWIFT related components to the same level as physical systems.
2. Reduce Attack Surface and Vulnerabilities
2.4A Back Office Data Flow Security Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and mutual authenticity of data flows between back office (or middleware) applications and connecting SWIFT infrastructure components.

2.5A External Transmission Data Protection

Protect the confidentiality of SWIFT-related data transmitted and residing outside of the secure zone.
2.8A Critical Activity Outsourcing

Ensure protection of the local SWIFT infrastructure from risks exposed by the outsourcing of critical activities.

2.9A Transaction Business Controls

Restrict transaction activity to validated and approved counterparties and within the expected bounds of normal business.

2.10A Application Hardening* Reduce the attack surface of SWIFT-related components by performing application hardening on the SWIFT-certified messaging and communication interfaces and related applications.

5. Manage Identities and Segregate Privileges

5.3A Personnel Vetting Process

Ensure the trustworthiness of staff operating the local SWIFT environment by performing personnel vetting.

6. Detect Anomalous Activity to Systems or Transaction Records
6.5A Intrusion Detection

Detect and prevent anomalous network activity into and within the local SWIFT environment.

7. Plan for Incident Response and Information Sharing
7.3A Penetration Testing

Validate the operational security configuration and identify security gaps by performing penetration testing.

7.4A Scenario Risk Assessment

Evaluate the risk and readiness of the organization based on plausible cyber attack scenarios.

* new advisory controls

Change Management: The Change Management process to evolve the controls framework is designed to ensure that the SWIFT community has sufficient time (up to 18 months) to understand and implement any future changes to the controls requirements. Any changes to the controls will be announced mid-year, with attestation and compliance against the mandatory controls of any new version required between July and December of the following year, dependent on the expiry date of the attestation. In exceptional circumstances an emergency release may be required, but we expect this to be a rare occurrence.

Introduction of new controls or guidelines will take account of strong cybersecurity practices that address the currently known new and arising threats in order to pragmatically raise the security bar. Consultation and input gathering from stakeholders will occur throughout the year to capture change requests from the various sources. All new mandatory controls will be first introduced as Advisory, thereby giving all users at least two cycles to plan, budget and implement.

CSP Change Management