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Eastnets SWIFT Cyber Fraud Survey; 4 Out 5 Banks Are Targeted

Brussels, 26 November 2019 – As banks are battling the growing risk of SWIFT* payment messaging fraud, Eastnets today released its How Banks are Combating the Rise in SWIFT Cyber Fraud survey report that reveals that most of the 200 banks surveyed experienced an electronic SWIFT fraud attempt since 2016.


In addition, two-thirds of banks responded that SWIFT cyber-crime attempts have been increasing since 2016. Worryingly, only two-fifths of banks are “very confident” that they have detected every attempt at cyber SWIFT fraud since 2016. Despite this prevalence of cyber-based SWIFT payment fraud, a significant portion of the banks responding to the survey cited that they have no prevention policies addressing SWIFT cyber fraud. Eastnets also identified a substantial insider risk with one out of seven banks experiencing a fraud attempt involving an employee.


Furthermore, the research commissioned by Eastnets through summer 2019 found that banks are facing a challenge in that the internal departments affected by SWIFT messaging fraud often do not collaborate to prevent fraud. Only 20% of banks said that internal departments collaborate “very strongly” to prevent SWIFT cyber fraud.


The results highlighted a clear difference between “leaders” and “laggards” as some institutions have proven more effective at combating SWIFT fraud, while others struggle. Leaders exhibited the use of more sophisticated software approaches to prevent SWIFT fraud – ranging from behavioral analytics through to attack simulations. 


“Based on what we know about SWIFT fraud we believe banks’ optimism reveals overconfidence and a potential for higher risks in the future." said Deya Innab, Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Eastnets, and author of the report.


Other key findings include:

Secondary research found ongoing reports of successful SWIFT payment fraud since 2016, with at least USD 380m in combined losses and a concentration of successful SWIFT cyber fraud attempts in Asia Pacific.


Though only 60% of banks in the U.S. have been targeted with SWIFT fraud, all banks surveyed in Asia Pacific were targeted by SWIFT cyber fraud attempts.


The report also contains in-depth insights into how leading banks reduce the risk of SWIFT fraud, alongside recommendations for improvements.


Download the full report; How Banks are combating the Rise in SWIFT Cyber Fraud


For further information, please contact:

Dalia Masad
Group Marketing Manager
+971 4 3912888


* SWIFT ( The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ), provides a network that enables +11,000 financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions.


About Eastnets

Eastnets ensures peace of mind by securing a safer future for everyone.

A global provider of compliance and payment solutions for the financial services sector, our experience and expertise help ensure trust at 750 financial institutions across the world, including 11 of the top 50 banks. For more than 35 years, we’ve worked to keep the world safe and secure from financial crime. We do it by helping our partners manage risk through Sanction Screening, Transactions Monitoring, analysis and reporting, plus state-of-the-art consultancy and customer support.


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