SWIFT HQ in Switzerland to be given police protection to avoid sabotage
The computing centre for the SWIFT banking system has been given additional protection by the Swiss police to protect the facility against sabotage. After some Russian banks were excluded from the SWIFT as part of Swiss sanctions imposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there are concerns the site may become the victim of an attack.
SWIFT integral to banking in Switzerland and Russia
SWIFT - or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunications - is a cooperative owned by the worldwide banking sector. It allows banks to carry out international transactions by making sure each party is a registered and reliable sender and recipient.
Millions of financial messages are sent using the system every day, making it integral to global finance. This is why some Russian banks were excluded from the system as part of sanctions against the country for its invasion of Ukraine, as it would dramatically slow down the flow of capital into Russia and would make many transactions impossible.
Swiss police deployed to protect SWIFT
Russia’s exclusion from the system has stoked fears that SWIFT may be a prime target for sabotage, particularly in its computing centres which process the transactions. These facilities are located in the Netherlands, US and Diessenhofen, Canton Thurgau.
Keystone-ATS confirmed that cantonal police in Thurgau were carrying out a security assessment of the facility after “taking into account current developments.” The emergency services confirmed that extra security measures have been taken to protect the facility, but said, “For obvious reasons, we do not give details on this subject.”