EU FinTech conference brings together financial industry leaders and policy makers
On 23 March, SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt spoke at the European Commission’s FinTechEU conference, held in Brussels. Other speakers at the event included Commission Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, and the European Parliament’s FinTech Rapporteur, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, as well as several representatives from FinTech startups.
Attended by EU and national regulators, financial and FinTech sector representatives, the conference looked at how technology is transforming the financial sector, cyber preparedness and whether EU regulation is fit for new technologies.
Leibbrandt’s speech focused first on the benefits that technology has brought about, before moving on to the risks it has introduced. Speaking about the growing cyber threat facing the financial industry and recent cases in which criminals have compromised banks’ back office environments to initiate fraudulent payments, Leibbrandt said: “The high-paced evolution of technology and the rise of the networked world and inter-connectivity expose us to risks that the criminal fraternity has not been blind to. In the past few years there has been a marked acceleration of both the aggressiveness and sophistication of cyber-attacks.”
The high-paced evolution of technology and the rise of the networked world and inter-connectivity expose us to risks that the criminal fraternity has not been blind to. In the past few years there has been a marked acceleration of both the aggressiveness and sophistication of cyber-attacks.
While he stressed that there is no indication the SWIFT’s network of core messaging services were compromised in any of these cases, he explained how SWIFT is committed to playing a significant in support of its customers and community in tackling the cyber security challenge. “We launched our Customer Security Programme in May last year to help address the challenge. CSP is a dedicated programme supporting customers to reinforce the security of their SWIFT-related infrastructure. The programme supports customers in strengthening their cyber risk management in the face of the persistent threat of such attacks.”
“While there is no silver bullet, Cyber awareness, cyber vigilance and cyber hygiene are all critical to preventing these attacks. In addition, fraud detection, rapid response, information sharing are needed to turn this threat into a manageable nuisance.”
“I think […] that the financial industry, the FinTech industry and pure technology providers should all work together with regulators, and with law enforcement where appropriate, to make the system safer.”