SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt has announced that the cooperative network is set to launch a new five-part security scheme designed to give customers confidence amidst rising cyberattacks.

In a speech delivered at the annual European Financial Services Conference in Brussels, Leibbrandt told the audience that “cyber security is serious”.

“[Since] I took on this job, cyber risk has been the main thing to keep me awake at night,” he adds.

“We work very hard at improving the cyber security of our network; every day we wake up and go to sleep thinking about, and protecting against that threat. It is hard work and never done.”

The Bangladesh Bank fraud case is a “watershed moment” for the industry, believes the SWIFT CEO. This is in part due to the fact that SWIFT is aware of “at least two, but possibly more” cases.

SWIFT, its network and its software and core messaging services haven’t been compromised, insists Liebbrandt: “In Bangladesh and the other cases, the thieves compromised the IT environment and worked their way to the bank systems where the SWIFT instructions are generated and the confirmations received.”

The new five-point plan has been drafted up by the company following the revelation that more banks have been targeted by hackers using false SWIFT messages.

It’s as yet unknown if any more banks have been victims of similar hacks to the Bangladesh event.

Not one of the banks affected so far had contacted SWIFT about their hacking incidents, according to the company, which stresses that it should be informed straight away.

By Alex Hamilton

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: alexanderh@ibsintelligence.com