Since 2020, the FedLine Solutions Security and Resiliency Assurance Program (“Assurance Program”) has been the standard security practice outlined by the Federal Reserve Banks to control and avert risks in the changing virtual landscape. Currently serving more than 10,000 organizations, the Fedline Solutions products provide direct access for any contractor working in a federal capacity, and users will be required to comply with all security protocols in order to be able to connect to the Federal Reserve to process and clear payments.
Within the Fedline Solutions catalog, there are four different products that are offered, and while no clients should ever require all four, there may be occasions where more than one product is necessary for payment processing. For each of the products, there are preset guidelines, which can be very similar but do differ.
The four products are:
- This top-of-the-line IP-based product enables real-time transactions through direct access to integral payment services
- Specialized for clients requiring a highly secure interface for high-volume transactions through FedWire Funds, FedWire Securities, FedACH
- Includes the use of the messaging component FedLine Direct Message as well as the file transfer segment, FedLine Direct File
- A more economical solution which provides access to a shortlist of payment services such as FedACH and FedWire, with the additional optional use of Accounting and Billing
- Flexible and convenient web-based access with layered hardware and software security features, customized internal access, and integration features to send and receive ACH files, wires, billing statements, and process adjustments.
- Access to integral Fedline services such as:
- FedACH Service
- FedWire Funds Service
- Fedwire Securities Service
- National Settlement Service
- Cost-effective. web-based solution that provides information services such as transactional reports, statements, and alerts. FedLine Web offers limited financial transactional services.
- FedACH Information
- FedCash Services
- Accounting and Billing information
What Has Been Updated Within the FedLine Framework?
Since the inception of the Assurance Program, the Federal Reserve has required organizations engaging in federal contracts to become compliant with the outlined Federal Reserve Banks Security Requirements. The main objectives of the Assurance Program are to increase trust in security protocols, reduce the event of fraud, lower risk, assess and improve controls and organizational resiliency.
In an effort to keep security as a central focus and to accommodate the rapidly evolving technology and the cybersecurity risks that accompany this growth, the Federal Reserve announced recent updates to the security controls, addressing the topics detailed in Table 1.0
Any organizations using any of the FedLine Solutions products are subject to the guidelines of the Fedline Assurance Program. The mandated security measures can be found in the Operating Circular 5 (OC5), which detail search practice, specific to Electronic Access, Certification Practice Statement, and Password Practice Statement. The Assurance program recognizes an annual initiative of compliance certification for participating entities, operating on the calendar year with a closing date of December 31st.
The Assurance Program requires:
- An attestation of completion of a self-assessment to the Federal Reserve Banks. In some cases, the attestation must be conducted or reviewed by a third party if required by the Federal Reserve Banks
- Implement Risk Management strategies
- An attestation that any identified gaps have been recognized and a remediation plan is in progress to address these items.
- The completion of the attestation letter is due by December 31st
FedLine Versus SWIFT – How do they Differ?
Fedline and SWIFT are two important but very different programs that assist in transactional security and successful integration between the federal government and contracted service providers
SWIFT operates primarily as a messaging service, transmitting payment orders and instructions through a messaging system. The program is recognized globally and assigned a Business Identifier Code (BIC) which is used to identify and engage with financial institutions. With the SWIFT services, no actual money transfer is completed, but the mandatory security measures are communicated through the system.
Fedline Solutions serves as the domestic pipeline which provides the instructions and access to the Federal Reserve Bank, making it possible to process high-volume, computer to computer financial transactions where actual funds can be requested and received.
How Can Elevate Assist?
Elevate’s team of professional consultants are prepared and ready to assist your organization in the necessary FedLine Controls assessment to ensure the utmost confidence for your firm when submitting the certification to the Federal Reserve Bank.
With our proven approach and execution, we can take the heavy lifting out of the FedLine attestation and certification process. During the assessment process Elevate will:
- Identify company contact points and associated roles
- Analyze and understand the company environment
- Analyze controls by collecting evidence through documentation and interviews
- Identify gaps and provide remediation advice
- Prepare a preliminary report for management review and apply feedback
- Deliver final report/attestation letter
If your firm is considering renewing or preparing a first-time attestation to participate in the FedLine Solutions program, please don’t hesitate to place your trust in Elevate to fully prepare your corporation in a seamless fashion.