SWIFT and BAE report on how cyber attackers could hit financial markets

The cyber threats faced by key financial markets across the world have been detailed by a new report published today by BAE Systems and SWIFT. The study examines the different levels of susceptibility and threat faced by parts of the financial markets. It considers how market infrastructures and participants could be exploited by cyber criminals to penetrate organizations across the securities, trade finance, foreign exchange, and banking and payments market segments.

While the risks in banking and payments are well documented, this study reveals that the securities market is particularly vulnerable. This is due to the large number of participants and infrastructures, as well as the complex interactions involved. Weaknesses can be unknowingly introduced by traders, brokers, investors, other stakeholders as well as the systems that all of these participants use. The study also shows how the foreign exchange and trade finance markets are also at risk.

Among the main recommendations proposed are:

  • Securities participants should embrace the value of checks, communication and data to support pre- and post-trade activities and stave off cyber threats.
  • Securities market infrastructures need to collaborate with participants to identify risks in common practices to jointly defend market operations.
  • Banking and payments participants must continue to strengthen security controls while building in protection for upstream systems.
  • Trade finance participants are encouraged to review and manage areas of inherent trust, which are at risk of cyber exploitation.

The Evolving Advanced Cyber Threat to Financial Markets report is available for financial services organizations.

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