SWIFT Chief Security Officer on the importance of intelligence sharing

27 November 2019

Intelligence sharing, human judgement and investing in people key to strong cyber defences

As part of the 20th anniversary of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), Karel De Kneef, Chief Security Officer at SWIFT, examines how intelligence sharing is becoming increasingly important for financial institutions.

The article featured as part of FS-ISAC’s new insights hub which examines business trends in financial services as seen by C-level security and technology executives.

Having long been an afterthought, cybersecurity regularly features in board agendas, climbing to the top of executives’ priority lists.

More intelligence required

As cybersecurity impacts every area of businesses, more and better intelligence is required. De Kneef writes ‘with intelligence sharing, we can adapt much more quickly to the constantly shifting strategies of our adversaries, who have their own sharing platforms enabling them to keep up with the latest attack tactics.’

Through the SWIFT ISAC, we share intelligence across our 11,000 user community on the latest modus operandi, tools, tactics, techniques, and procedures that we have seen used in attempted payment fraud. This enables our customers to immediately apply this information to their environment connected to SWIFT.

Investing in people

While automating the more technical aspects of sharing has enabled us to share threat intelligence even faster, De Kneef believes that the human element is still important:

‘Technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will enable the technical aspects of cybersecurity to be automated, which in turn will free up more human brainpower to focus on wider cybersecurity strategy.’

Building a community

Human judgement sits at the heart of the fight against cybercrime and De Kneef calls for industry members to make an effort to build and sustain trust among their peers and play an active part in the intelligence sharing community:

‘Building trust on a consistent basis can encourage more institutions to actively share, and not just consume intelligence. The more people share, the better the quality of our intelligence will be.’

Intelligence sharing is a must

Financial services is changing with the introduction of new data-driven business models, APIs, fintechs and advances in big tech. While this change is adding values to our lives and businesses, it also significantly increases the attack surface, heightening cyber risks. De Kneef concludes: ‘In this rapidly evolving threat landscape, intelligence sharing is a must.’

Read the full article on FS-ISAC’s website

Karel De Kneef, Chief Security Officer, SWIFT

 

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