SWIFT Institute Wants Canadian Students To Come Up With Cyberattack Countermeasures

Testing security precautions in the financial sector is an excellent way to discover lingering vulnerabilities. Swift, the global payment network, has announced their 2017 Student Challenge. All students from colleges and universities across Canada can participate in this pen testing project, and trial new methods of protection for banking channels.

The Swift Cyber Challenge Is Coming To Canada

Under the SWIFT Institute Student Challenge 2017, elected students will partake in an attempt to improve security measures for banking channels. Given the increasing number of threats that bank customers face in this era of digitization, testing new security measures is of the utmost importance.

Canadian mobile banking saw significant growth in 2014, with nearly one in three users relying on mobile devices to access financial services. Even though a wide range of security measures is being used right now, none of them provides absolute security. 2FA, Passwords and even tokens make customers feel safer, but more solutions are direly needed.

Keeping in mind how the number of cyberattacks against financial services is on the rise, banking systems have to be optimized to withstand the toughest attacks. Students are asked to test a variety of options and provide written feedback on their security experiences. It will be intriguing to see what type of information these forms contain once the testing period has concluded.




SWIFT Institute Director Peter Ware told the media:

“Cyber security is a critical issue for today’s financial system. It is inevitable that there will be more attacks on the financial services sector and that some will be successful. This means that the financial industry as a whole needs to work even harder at improving collective defensive efforts. While SWIFT is fully engaged in helping the industry face this challenge through its Customer Security Program, we believe that young minds in today’s institutions of higher learning also have an important role to play.”

A total of ten finalist teams will be selected, which can then send two members each to present their ideas at Sibos 2017. All members will receive thorough coaching and presentation guidance to address the banking industry during this annual event. Whoever is elected as the ultimate winner of the “security challenge” will receive CA$20,000.

Collecting feedback from consumers, particularly those of the younger generations, is invaluable for financial institutions right now. The millennial customer base is often seen as the generation to overthrow traditional banking, which is why they are of high appeal to established financial players. Moreover, they seemingly have the mindset that the SWIFT Institute is looking for when it comes to thwarting cyberattacks in the future.

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