With banking becoming increasingly global and largely digital, a magnitude of data breach incidents resulted from cyberattacks have been observed and can be frequently traced to ineffective security practices and procedures. Cyberattacks do not require physical proximity, nor are they deterred by national borders. Cybercriminals can remain undetected for a long period of time. Such breaches inevitably result in losses of reputation, customer confidence, and in some instances, productivity. The purpose of this study is to take a deeper look into various breaches of the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) messaging network to illuminate vulnerabilities inherent in the international banking system and the channels through which a series of advanced, persistent threats (APT) can take place. The author discusses a variety of venues for banks to embrace new cybersecurity mindsets and incorporate governance mechanisms into their risk management processes as it relates to security control, data retention, and continuous monitoring. The study further calls for financial institutions to make a collective effort in taking proper precautions to safeguard the banking ecosystem. The paper concludes with the lessons learnt and the future research directions.



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