Cyber-attacks are on the heavy rise with hiked digital significance, and many companies face the inability to foresee the upcoming risks. We are in a situation like the caution, risk and vulnerability factors get only reflected after a breach has happened. The massive threat of cyber-attacks has forced organizations to rely on the need for a cybersecurity protection wrap. The monetary transaction sector is another division that has offered the bread for attackers. While electronic payments have evolved to be the quickest mode to send or receive money, the attackers have made it an easy platform to access data and float. Here is where the global network of SWIFT- Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication plays a significant role. SWIFT is a global network, bridging banks and financial institutions to communicate money movement activities. While connecting international movements, SWIFT has its regulations, policies and security norms updated every year with adaptive measures.
SWIFT CSP and Authorized Assessment Providers
While companies will individually require handling their technical environment safely, SWIFT established CSP – Customer Security Programme for its users as a defensive strategy against any cyber-attacks. The programme covers core protection against all fraudulent activities and breaches. It includes security controls, security features and other data-sharing initiatives aimed at customer security and smooth information flow. The framework is known as CSCF – Customer security Control Framework and all CSP customers must adhere to the specified norms. SWIFT has made it a mandate for the self-attestation by its customers on adherence to CSCF security policies. In addition, CSCF points to both mandatory and advisory control implementation as a part of attestation. All Security assessments should go in line with control definitions specified by SWIFT.
Here is the vital part of knowing SWIFT CSP attestation, program policies and the role of authorized CSP assessment providers. SWIFT has a directory of authorized CSP assessment providers listed for its customers. Consultancies get listed for the effective implementation of all mandatory and advisory controls of SWIFT CSP. Cyber security experience, strategic focus, fame and commitment towards customers marks the criterion. Verification of consultants based on knowledge of SWIFT security, framework understanding and necessary qualifications/certifications is keen. SWIFT has not made it a mandate to opt for service providers from its directory but looks solid and focused on the assessment criteria. SWIFT has given enough time for its users to comply and get attested ie.18 months from the date of publishing the updated regulation. And addition to the latest norms of SWIFT, self-assessment is possible but not compliant as from the end of 2021. It allows SWIFT users to get attested by a third party authorized consultant/ assessment provider.
Knowing SWIFT’s 2021 Customer Security Program
Taking you forward to the regulations updated as per the 2021 SWIFT CSP Framework, understanding the adherence criteria is keen. Knowing and implementing the CSP Framework updates isn’t a milestone for users while taking the aid of an expert SWIFT CSP service provider. Having a thorough knowledge of SWIFT CSP attestation can help you with a better assessment.
The two most mindful updates on SWIFT CSP 2021 are;
- The release of CSCF (v2021) updated regulations
- Mandatory requisite to conduct independent assessments annually
The wide reachability factor of the SWIFT platform across the financial sectors and poor technical implementation from the customer side has made the mandatory regulation. The detailed revision insights follow as below for financial organizations looking to attest their compliance with SWIFT CSP.
1. Assessment methodology
Considering the latest update of CSP 2021, the assessment methodology has changed its type from the previous ones. Now the regulation aims for a community-standard assessment for all its users. Indeed, it frames the requirement of an independent SWIFT CSP assessment for all customers of SWIFT. This mandatory assessment move focuses on the design and implementation of all security controls with respect to the specified regulation norms of SWIFT CSP. There are two ways through which you could unlock your assessments;
Opting for the help, support or aid of external cybersecurity expertise for your assessment can take you quickly through all the requirements and will have better efficiency over time.
(2)Internal Assessment: An Independent assessment adhering to all security controls and policies by the second or third line of defence within your organization. It must exclude the first line of defence (CISO) responsible for submitting the corresponding assessments.
2. Framework Updations
As a part of implementing a stiff control measure within the SWIFT network, major framework updations were proposed and made into effect. Concerning the SWIFT CSP 2021 regulations, the previous advisory control has changed to a mandatory one and the other control with an extended scope.
- Swift CSCF mandatory control: The advisory control- restriction of internet access has moved towards a mandatory regulation. It focuses on internet restriction to confine within the SWIFT boundaries for all customers to a minimal amount to carry an organization business.
- Extended scope: All customers of the SWIFT network, including third-party service providers, must adhere to the MFA- Multi-factor Authentication while accessing any SWIFT related applications. It is an extended scope that got added to the previous control update.
SWIFT CSP Compliance
In order to adhere to the new control regulations and independent assessments requirements, SWIFT customers could connect the expert cyber support help for individual compliance. All SWIFT CSP requirements should carefully be studied, understood and complied for effective and quick certification. With proactive technical modelling, testing and security bounding, organizations earn a new level of customer security and transparency. While securing and protecting your technical infrastructure, preventing and detecting threats and foreseeing future security issues, firms stand in a high position with customer safety. Let’s peep into some of the best assessment services SWIFT network organizations can adopt their way.
1. Gap Assessment Service
The first and foremost thing to point is identifying organizational security flaws. An overall security assessment with an expert SWIFT service provider or consultant firm can aid in identification. A payment solution expert team can analyze your SWIFT CSP controls and check if it matches the actual requirement of SWIFT CSCF. A cybersecurity assessment service also helps to investigate your advisory and security controls to their maximum. Prepare well with your assessment report for an effective remediation plan.
2. CSCF Remediation Service
After successful gap assessment, the other side of the coin pictures remediation measures that includes technical solutions and advisory solutions, adhering to SWIFT CSCF requirements. Penetration tests and vulnerability scans are a means of safe-exploiting your security infrastructure flaws and, at the same time, helps to explore the defence capability. Security monitoring and inspection services adjoin remediation plans and strategies, complying with SWIFT CSCF.
3. CSP Attestation service
SWIFT proposes updates and regulation measures to its customer belt on an annual basis. Adhering to SWIFT CSP compliance is keen for all financial entities while probing attestation. A CSP attestation service from a cybersecurity-focused company can make you attain the needed compliance and SWIFT CSP assessments annually. CSP attestation and compliance is a continuous process, and you need that expert hand while SWIFT keeps on stiffing its security belt.
Major Remediation Services
1. Access Management
According to SWIFT CSP guidelines and regulation updates, it requires controlled and monitored access for all its users to servers. With such rules, companies need proper guidance on their access management, complying with SWIFT policies. Identify and regulate your privileged user access to SWIFT servers as a means of extending security within the SWIFT network.
2. Environment Patching
Even though your company will have some level of defence mechanism, SWIFT regulations and changes are annual, and the framework needs patches at regular intervals. All SWIFT users require to handle their technical environment mindfully by implementing proper cybersecurity controls and strategies. Mitigate and defend any cyber-attack through solid environment-patching with the aid of an expert service provider.
3. Vulnerability Scan/Test
You may be prone to serious security incidents and flaws if poor technical implementations are on the built-up. Vulnerability scans can detect your verge of fall or limitations, helping you foresee future risks. It is one of the mandatory requirements of SWIFT CSP 2021. Penetration testing services safe-exploits the vulnerabilities for evaluating the security infrastructure and comes under the advisory control of SWIFT CSCF. Both vulnerability scans and penetration tests can yield you a better understanding of your technical limitations.
4. Identity Management
SWIFT advisory services can help your organization with identity management and control. SWIFT clearly specifies its control advisory need to adhere to multifactor authentication requirements. Identity and access management (IAM) security prove to be a named element in security controls. With effective identity management and MFA, data management and user access management get held under perfect control.
5. Behavioural Analysis
The behavioural analysis uses machine learning, AI and big data to identify anomalous patterns and changes of behavioural trends within the SWIFT environment. Deploy a consultant service for monitoring the SWIFT environment and security actions for your organization. It helps in protecting customer information and system assets while looking for the best compliance for security standards.
6. Incident Response/Plan
A better and efficient incident response plan can make your SWIFT environment more secure for future responses. Security doesn’t mean all about detecting vulnerabilities, flaws or threats. It should contain the plan and strategy as a response measure packed and ready for any situation. It is always efficient to unlock a complete security binding for your organization, aiding you in the best IR plans.
The CSP controls change and gets updated every year as a countermeasure to evolving threats and rising cyber-attacks. We have seen an advisory control requirement changing to a mandatory one, and here is the significance. All SWIFT users must comply with the framework updates annually, and non-compliance will never prove healthy. Non-compliant organizations, corporates, banks and other financial institutions should initiate their attestations early to avoid their limitations while accessing new vendors. Reviewing your technical infrastructure standards and positive compliance is possible with a SWIFT CSP service provider expertise. Make use of efficient assessment services and advisory controls that can win you a SWIFT CSP certification at the earliest.