Google Cloud developed a new SWIFT reference architecture for financial institutions. The architecture helps implement SWIFT technology in public could environments. As a result, financial sectors are more effectively able to work with Google Cloud.

Google Cloud wants to position itself as an effective public cloud environment for financial institutions –especially when it comes to solutions for data analytics, machine learning and cybersecurity.

In this context, the tech giant introduced a new reference architecture that guides financial institutions in deploying SWIFT technology in their public cloud environment. SWIFT provides an international payment network. It’s one of the most important financial systems in the world. This payment network allows banks to perform international transactions. The system recently attracted a lot of attention, when almost all Russian banks were disconnected from the network due to the economic sanctions.

Alliance Connect portfolio

Google Cloud’s reference architecture for SWIFT focuses specifically on the SWIFT technology portfolio Alliance Connect. This portfolio includes hardware-based appliances that allow banks to set up secure VPN connections to the SWIFT system. These appliances are often located in banks’ on-premises data centres.

Recently, SWIFT Alliance introduced Connect Virtual, which allows banks to connect securely to (public) cloud environments. The hardware-based appliances are hereby replaced by virtual appliances in the cloud.

Blueprint

Google Cloud’s new reference architecture provides a blueprint of how Alliance Connect Virtual should run on Google Cloud. This blueprint consists of various components. These include SWIFT products that can run on Google Cloud, but also hardware-based components that financial institutions and companies can deploy in co-locations. Other components are private VPC networks with stateful firewalls for egress/ingress traffic between SWIFT applications, SWIFT VPN and the SWIFT network.

The architecture includes various Google Cloud services. Encryption is used to secure sensitive data. Keys are managed by Google Cloud Key Management. Network services are provided by Google Cloud Interconnect.

Benefits

According to the tech giant, organizations that follow the reference architecture gain a proper basis for data analytics and machine learning services. This should improve operational efficiency and lower data centre costs. Google Cloud’s SWIFT reference architecture will be available from August this year.

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