Mastercard bolsters fraud fighting with Europe Cyber Resilience Centre

US payments giant looks to shore up European banks and fintech with Belgium-based security hub

Mastercard is developing a European cyber security hub as it looks to drive greater collaboration from both the public and private sectors to fight fraud and online threats. 

The European Cyber Resilience Centre will be based at the company's HQ in Waterloo, Belgium and aims to address the threats facing European payment ecosystems. 

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The centre will bring together a number of organisations, banks and law enforcement agencies, including Interpol and the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). 

An interim centre will launch in the spring, according to Mastercard, with the official facility expected to be ready in 2021.  "Financial services will always be at the top of the target list for attackers due to the vast pool of customer data and credentials under our responsibility," said Javier Perez, president Europe at Mastercard.  "Our European Cyber Resilience Centre improves collaboration amongst key organisations, helping to ensure businesses and individuals feel secure when sharing information online."

The centre will aim to improve prevention and mitigation practices against international cyber crime by bringing together both cyber and physical security experts. As part of its strategy, it will also aim to shorten the lines of communication between internal Mastercard teams and its customers, partners and stakeholders. The Belgium-based centre will also provide a hub of knowledge and best practice sharing for law enforcement agencies and policymakers.  "Fraudsters and hackers know no borders or nationalities, so threats can strike from every corner of the world," Perez added. "Only a joint effort that involves all parties will be able to place Europe on the frontline of enterprise resilience. 

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"This new centre will synchronise our global resources and partners to constantly seek and adopt the best practices for us and our customer network."

An example of the type of threats faced by European financial institutions was seen a year ago when Malta's oldest bank took its entire IT system down to counter an active foreign cyber attack in which hackers attempted to steal 13 million. 

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