CBB hosts SWIFT users security workshop

Manama : The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has organised a workshop for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s SWIFT User Group community on its Customer Security Programme (CSP).

The workshop was held on August 24 in coordination with SWIFT Company and attended by more than 60 representatives from financial institutions and focused on the importance of security at institution and industry level.

SWIFT’s CSP includes a framework introduced last year to enable institutions to enforce strict security controls within their IT infrastructure, with the objective of segregating critical systems (e.g. payment systems) from the general environment. This also covers important aspects like staying updated on latest SWIFT security patches, safeguard of login credentials using multi-factor authentication and triggering of preferably real-time alerts on detection of unauthorised activity (e.g. outside normal business days / hours). CSP will also help in an improved exchange of information within the SWIFT community and thereby enhance SWIFT-related tools for customers, along with providing for audit frameworks.

During the workshop, SWIFT also shared the best practices for fraud detection (e.g. Risk Reporting that can highlight large / unusual message flows or newly established counterparties), SWIFT KYC (Know Your Customer) registry and support enhancement by third party providers.

Yousef Al Fadhel, Director of Information Technology Directorate at CBB and Chairperson of Bahrain’s SWIFT User-Group, commented “Complying with the CSP recommendations is a shared user-group responsibility and will strengthen each institution’s IT infrastructure, and thereby not only secure the critical payment message flows, but also enhance Bahrain’s regional competitive edge in payment systems.”

The workshop was held as part of an ongoing awareness campaign led by the CBB in coordination with concerned parties from the financial sector in an effort to implement the latest security practices and controls in order to maintain the integrity of the banking and financial system.

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