Innovating to mitigate cyber risk

November 17, 2022 | By Johan Gerber

Technology is a transformational force, creating new economies, connecting the disconnected, enabling new experiences and making our lives more convenient.

But as our interactions go digital, criminals follow, distorting innovative societal benefits into heinous activity, squeezing the life-changing potential of modern technology.

Consider the impact on positive endeavours like financial inclusion. Imagine the progress we could have made in solving global issues such as this without the threat of cybercrime.

The data is stark. Ransomware has risen dramatically. Global volume doubled last year, with 623.2 million recorded cases in 2021, triple that of 2019[1].

At Mastercard, this spectre drives our ambition: It motivates us to put security into the foundation of every product and service. It also shows us how the ever-changing nature of cybercrime is keeping us two steps ahead of the threat.

Protecting the ecosystem relies on shoring up the weakest link. That’s why, at Mastercard, we are constantly adapting, growing, leading and innovating. 

Cybersecurity underpins our trusted global network – securing more than 110 billion transactions a year.

We've introduced a number of new acquisitions and capabilities, which provide us with the means to secure businesses and communities across a range of segments.

We are dedicated to building and protecting trust across the ecosystem. We have worked tirelessly to:

  • Bolster defenses to scan the network for potential attacks;
  • Protect cyber environments by evaluating and mitigating cyber vulnerabilities such as third-party risk and identity theft.
  • Collaborate across industries by sharing information and ideas with leaders through forums like innovation hubs to cultivate collaboration and help extend cyber security to those that need it most. (In all, Mastercard has invested more than $1 billion in cybersecurity capabilities and contributed to the launch of more than 20 cybersecurity startups since 2018.)

All of the above enables us to provide quicker, more accurate detection and resolution of data compromises, third-party cyber threats and large-scale cyber-attacks.

Innovating to mitigate financial risk

Our customers’ needs are ever-changing – requiring a more holistic approach to security; whether they are making investments to protect digitized services, managing transition to cloud or protecting new payment flows, they can count on our world-class credibility and support.

And, of course, when we talk about security threats and associated risks we want to make the wider ecosystem as safe as possible too. Non-card payment environments experience different points of vulnerability than traditional ones.  This is becoming increasingly evident as cryptocurrencies introduce an entirely new set of opportunities and threats into our payments ecosystem.

In the crypto space, by developing new security solutions like Crypto Secure, we are enabling card issuers to better understand the fraud risks associated with specific exchanges. Using insights from our company CipherTrace, we can help issuers make informed decisions that protect their business as well as our payments ecosystem.

So, as our lives become increasingly connected; yes, there are new risks, but many new opportunities to get ahead too. We are not only enabling a seamless digital economy, but a safe one too, allowing our customers to feel reassured that, with Mastercard, their network is secure.

To find out more about how you can #PayProtected, click here.

[1]  (Mid-Year Update: 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report).

Photo of Johan Gerber
Johan Gerber, executive vice president, Security & Cyber Innovation