Cybersecurity Insight

Bank Fraud Victims Increase Worldwide

1 Sep

Bank fraud is continuing to be a major source of unease for many in the international community. Not only are more banks reporting that instances of fraud have continued, but they have increased and become even more unique and pervasive. SWIFT, the nonprofit cooperative that provides a communication network for banks worldwide, continues to push for greater cyber security awareness and protection across its membership. Unfortunately they don’t have any real power to put behind those words, and they can only continue to cajole and warn those who run these banks that their data and their client’s data continues to be in jeopardy.

Our last piece about SWIFT and bank fraud had to do with a seriously massive attack on the Bangladesh Bank that resulted in an $81 Million heist this past June. Since then, a lot has been uncovered about the extremely lax security systems used at some banks in regards to wire transfers and other day-to-day activities. For example, the Bangladesh Bank didn’t even have a firewall and used low-grade switches to network the very computers sending SWIFT messages about large money transfers. Cyber threats have continued to affect the international financial community in increasing numbers especially because hackers have started to narrow their potential victim pool to include those institutions that have soft security procedures for SWIFT-enabled transfers. Remember that much of SWIFT’s operation is based on a factor of trust, and until recently, somehow hasn’t needed a great deal of security against bank fraud.

The next few months will be telling – if banks do not utilize additional authentication measures, and protective software and associated devices, they will be outed by SWIFT to both national and international financial regulators and the general public as well. Luckily for those in the US and Europe, additional security reviews have been, and will continue to be, conducted as long as bank fraud is a major threat.