New toolkit aims to boost cyber security and resilience

18 July 2019

The SWIFT Institute, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, IMF and other partners have released a new resource to help financial institutions globally strengthen their cyber defences.

The SWIFT Institute, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, IMF and other partners have released a new resource to help financial institutions globally strengthen their cyber defences.

Cyber Resilience and Financial Organisations: A Capacity-building Tool Box” features six easy-to-use, one-page guides and checklists that provide senior management at financial institutions with actionable measures to improve cyber security. It is the result of more than a year of work by partners that also included the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), Standard Chartered, the Cyber Readiness Institute and the Global Cyber Alliance.

A global and collaborative approach to the cyber threat is absolutely key, which is why the development of this tool box marks a major step forward. Cyber security is the number one priority for SWIFT and its community of over 11,000 customers, and we aim to remain at the forefront of threat intelligence sharing and best practice initiatives such as these.

Karel De Kneef, Chief Security Officer, SWIFT

Cyber threats to the financial community  continue to multiply as adversaries deploy increasingly sophisticated techniques to evade detection and penetrate critical systems. Organisations have to remain vigilant, constantly adapting their security practices to defend against intrusion.

In 2016, SWIFT launched the Customer Security Programme (CSP) to help its customers better secure their local infrastructure.. The CSP facilitates global information sharing  across the SWIFT community so all users remain up to date on Modus Operandi and evolving tactics, techniques and procedures. It also sets baseline security controls, which are updated regularly and mandatory for all users, to strengthen the defences of the entire ecosystem.

The new tool box leverages SWIFT’s experience and that of other partners to provide best practice advice. The series of one-page guides starts at the board and executive levels to ensure comprehensive risk management, governance, and continuous organisational thinking on cyber security. From there, it outlines practical measures for CISOs and other security personnel to follow to protect critical assets, their customers, connections and  how to handle incident response.

Many of the recommendations, which are organisation-wide and actionable on an individual level, can be made part of employee training and general cyber security culture. The tool box is expected to be especially useful for smaller organisations, which, because of resource constraints and other factors, often are more vulnerable to attacks.

“The guides are designed to be practical, actionable, and easy-to-use to maximise their benefit and impact on financial institutions’ cyber resilience”, according to Tim Maurer, Co-director of Carnegie’s Cyber Policy Initiative. “When used properly, these tools will prevent dangerous hacks to financial systems across the world.”

The toolbox is available in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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