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SWIFT cyberattack translates into dramatic losses

Categories : Cash is trust
July 4, 2017
Tags : Central Bank, Data breach, Hacking
SWIFT annual report indicates a 31% drop in profit in 2016 as more funds had to be allocated to cyber security.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación
In February 2016, Bangladesh’s central bank was the target of a tremendous cyberattack. Criminals stole the record amount of $81 million by hacking the SWIFT messaging system, but the losses do not end there. Indeed, SWIFT’s 2016 annual report published in early June indicates that its profits before tax and rebates fell by 31% compared to 2015. 
During the affair, SWIFT was strongly criticized by former staff and customers, which reproached the lack of foresight and prevention regarding hazardous operating practices. The company justified the loss by explaining that more funds had to be allocated in security following the attack. Indeed, collateral damages are often forgotten when measuring the cost of a cyberattack, such as additional investments for security monitoring systems and special insurances. 
SWIFT is operated by all banks as a service, and profits are normally distributed to customers in lower prices rather than in dividends. While in 2015 customers benefited from $37 million in rebates, they received absolutely nothing in 2016. 
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