Mastercard has announced it is developing its first European Cyber Resilience Centre located in Waterloo, Belgium.

The new security centre aims to drive collaboration between public and private sectors, as well as regulatory bodies to further support enterprise resilience.

Javier Perez, President Europe at Mastercard, said: “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.

“Our European Cyber Resilience Centre improves collaboration amongst key organisations, helping to ensure businesses and individuals feel secure when sharing information online.”

Tackling cyber crime 

The centre is the first of its kind that Mastercard has invested in outside of North America. Additionally, it will serve as a single cyber security hub for the region, bringing together cyber and physical security experts.

Through the project, Mastercard hopes to drive better prevention and mitigation practices against international cybercrime and security threats.

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Perez added: “The security and privacy of our customers’ data is paramount. Fraudsters and hackers know no borders or nationalities, so threats can strike from every corner of the world. Only a joint effort that involves all parties will be able to place Europe on the frontline of enterprise resilience.

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

Shorten lines of communication

The Cyber Resilience Centre will shorten the lines of communication between Mastercard teams and customers, partners and stakeholders. The aim is to improve response time and effectiveness during global events including natural disasters, and service and security incidents.

Furthermore, Mastercard will work closely with law enforcement agencies and customers in the region to accelerate intelligence sharing.

The Belgium-based facility will also deepen knowledge and best practice sharing amongst European law enforcement agencies and policy makers.

Speaking on the announcement, Claire Hatcher, Global Head of Fraud Prevention Solutions, Kaspersky, argues the project will be beneficial.

“It is positive to hear that Mastercard is taking the lead and developing a European Cyber Resilience Centre to help improve the detection and combatting of payment cyberthreats,” she said.

“With the number of threats growing in the sector – there was a 7% increase in banking malware and phishing between 2018 and 2019 – it is vital that all banks and financial institutions join together in the fight against cybercrime, whilst also achieving and maintaining a strong individual cybersecurity posture, to help keep consumers safe.”