ABA takes step on strengthening SWIFT security System in Afghanistan
Date: December 04, 2023
ABA organized its SWIFT National User Group committee meeting on SWIFT Security Program on December 04, 2023.
At the beginning, Mr. Alimy updated participants on SWIFT National User Group, and urged members to rise their problems in SWIFT if any.
Later on, Mr. Asadullah Fayzi COO AIB and chairperson of SWIFT in Afghanistan provided following inputs.
“SWIFT issued an updated version of Customer Security Controls Framework (CSCF) and banks need to conduct the attestation/assessment, to be in complied with SWIFT rules.
Customer Security Program (CSP) helping banks strengthen their cyber defenses, it helps banks to ensure their defense against cyberattacks are up to date and effective. Banks compare the security measures they have implemented with those detailed in the Customer Security Controls Framework (CSCF), before attesting their level of compliance annually.
Since it is an assessment and not a full audit, so the assessment can be conducted by internal teams such as the Compliance department, Risk or Internal Audit department. But Swift Customer Security Program Assessor needs to have certain Cyber security related Certification to carry out the assessment.
The deadline for attestation and independent assessment, is December 31, 2023. Therefore, the time is short, bank employees internal Audit cannot get the certification to do the assessment, so it would be better if the first assessment is to be conducted by a third-party company. The list of the mentioned companies is available on the SWIFT website, but it is not certain that it must be the same companies. Assessment is also possible to be conducted remotely.
Some of the bank raised concern about new approach of invoicing by SWIFT and the annual fee shown on the new invoicing system was too high.
Mr. Fayzi stated that SWIFT realized that the transactions from Afghanistan decreased dramatically during the past two years as such there is no sufficient income from Afghanistan. Mr. Faizy said that he will request SWIFT that Afghanistan banks are facing many financial problems, SWIFT should not raise the fee.
In the meeting, SWIFT Heads also had questions on SWIFT issue, where it was responded by Mr. Fayzi accordingly.
It is worth worthy that through SWIFT system, banks annually execute USD billions of remittances abroad, facilitating import and export that ultimately support our country's economy, job creation, and the people livelihood.