Cybersecurity: Investing to secure our digital age

June 5, 2023 | By Johan Gerber

Our digitized world is opening doors to possibilities unimaginable just a decade ago. From holding conversations with generative AI to proving identity with a smile or a wave, we’re witnessing a historic societal transformation that has big consequences for how we do business – and how we do it securely.

 As with any innovation, opportunity comes with risk. The proliferation of digital interactions is making it easier for cyber criminals to intervene, manipulate and scam. The impact of intrusion can be debilitating to productivity, reputation, and financial cost: The average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million last year

Preparing to tackle the cyber threat has never been more critical to progressing our digital future and building trust. As a cyber sector, we need to stay two steps ahead of the criminals – and that means influencing the conversation in the boardroom.

And that’s why we wanted to deepen our understanding of the problem– we’ve spoken to cybersecurity leaders in eight countries to hear about their challenges, opportunities and perspectives for this year – and next.

The findings are startling. Cybersecurity now sits above geopolitics and economic challenges as a leading risk area for merchants and financial institutions. It’s also become a public issue: 98% of consumers are concerned about the current level of cybercrime, demonstrating the uphill battle businesses now face to build trust with their customers.

In response, businesses are granting their cyber experts more influence and more resource: Almost nine in ten cybersecurity leaders have seen their budgets rise in 2023.

This is a monumental step forward for digitalization and cybersecurity. We are on the cusp of a revolution in how organizations protect themselves from cyber threats driven primarily – according to our research – by AI and digital identity. There is a palpable feeling that we are only now scratching the surface of what these technologies can do in this space.

When reading these findings, I couldn’t ignore the parallels between changes in the wider cybersecurity sector and those we are making at Mastercard to secure our customer network. In recent years, we’ve supercharged our arsenal of cyber solutions through strategic, innovative acquisitions that drive faster, smarter and more effective protection for our customers.

As an example, we now offer a single Mastercard cyber service – driven by cutting-edge AI-technology from Baffin Bay Networks and RiskRecon – that forms a cyber shield to protect your business. It informs organizations of their vulnerabilities, warns them of any threats coming down the road, and sets traps to stop unwanted guests getting any closer, all with minimal human intervention.

The future of cybersecurity has arrived, and we are proud to be pioneers of its evolution. The data tells us cybersecurity is a business-critical issue and leaders are willing to explore new technologies to protect their four walls and their firewalls. And so, as the speed of technological innovation outpaces previous advances we continue to spur innovation to anticipate, finance and protect our digital future.

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Johan Gerber, executive vice president, Security & Cyber Innovation