The SWIFT network provides a platform for participating financial institutions to exchange financial transaction information/messages that enables international payment in a reliable, secure and standardized manner. To do this, each participating financial institution can be identified on the SWIFT platform with Business Identifier Codes (BICs) also known as “SWIFT code”.
Given the volume of transactions that go through SWIFT network on daily basis, which has been estimated to be about 15 million with value in hundreds of billions of dollars (USD), the need to ensure end-to-end transaction and data exchange security on SWIFT platform cannot be overemphasized. With growing and worrisome cyber attacks that were recorded on SWIFT network in the past, particularly in 2016, SWIFT issued a new Customer Security Control Framework (CSCF) program that provided control frameworks for securing SWIFT local infrastructure and operating environment by identifying 22 mandatory and 9 advisory/optional controls (CSCF Version 2021), which participating customers worldwide put at over 11,000 need to comply with and attest to for continued participation in the SWIFT global transaction messaging network.
The control framework was built around 3 objectives, which are; Secure Operating Environment; Know and Limit Access; and Detect and Respond to incidents with 8 core principle that gave rise to 31 security controls (22 mandatory and 9 optional/advisory) as highlighted below.
1. Restrict Internet Access & Protect Critical Systems from General IT Environment
2. Reduce Attack Surface and Vulnerabilities
3. Physically Secure the Environment
4. Prevent Compromise of Credentials
5. Manage Identities and Segregate Privileges
6. Detect Anomalous Activity to Systems or Transaction Records
7. Plan for Incident Response and Information Sharing
While the new Customer Security Program (CSP) provided elaborate details on how to implement the 16 mandatory and 11 advisory controls to ensure security compliance in line with SWIFT requirements, risk assurance practitioners (IT Auditors, Cyber/Information Security Analysts, System Control Analysts, IT Risk Analysts) are still finding it difficult to provide assurance on the effectiveness and adequacy of stipulated controls implemented by the business based on our interactions and engagements with industry leaders and stakeholders. In other words, there are still control testing knowledge gaps amongst those with security assurance responsibilities on SWIFT infrastructure and operating environment. Hence, the need for this practical and result oriented audit program/checklist put together to help practitioners in bridging those skill gaps.
The SWIFT infrastructure audit program/checklist provided practical steps of auditing the SWIFT infrastructures and operating environment along the lines of the newly issues Customer Security Program with the sole objective of complying with the requirements of the framework by testing the effectiveness and adequacy of the 16 mandatory and 11 optional controls. The book provided risk assurance practitioners with practical test procedures to follow, things to look out for, evidence/artifacts required to validate control effectiveness and security of the SWIFT local infrastructure and operating environment.
If you are an Auditor, Information Security Analyst, Risk Officer, Security Manager or System Control Analyst looking to carry out self-assessment, audit or security review of your SWIFT local infrastructure and operating environment in readiness for an external assessment or audit, this book is your best guide through what needs to be done beyond passing your assessment to ensure security of your SWIFT infrastructure. With the guide provided in this book, you can comfortably/independently conduct self-assessment or audit of your SWIFT Infrastructure and operating environment with little or no external assistance.