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February 1, 2021

Mastercard joins Dubai’s IFC to boost regional cybersecurity

By Mohamed Dabo

Mastercard has launched its Global Cyber Forward programme in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the largest fintech hub in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.

The new “Cyber Forward” programme is to build secure digital ecosystems through public-private partnerships.

The programme combines Mastercard’s capabilities in cyber security with those of public sector organisations to create secure digital ecosystems at national, local, and city levels.

This partnership with DIFC will help boost cyber readiness and resilience across the financial industry, enabling effective cyber security oversight through the Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA) Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) that was launched in January 2020.

The partnership supports the National Cybersecurity Strategy

DIFC is home to over 2,500 financial related companies, including 17 of the world’s top-20 banks, and over 240 fintech and Innovation companies.

Governments, financial institutions and businesses around the world have been facing an increase in cyber threats as people and businesses become more digitally connected.

According to an industry study, the threat of direct and indirect cyberattacks on global businesses is significant, with up to $5.2tr in economic impact being at risk over the next 5 years.

Another study reported that 50% of global businesses are not prepared to deal with cyberattacks.

Cross-industry partnerships

This programme builds on other cross-industry partnerships, helping to boost cyber readiness and resilience across the financial industry.

Last year, Mastercard introduced its first European Cyber Resilience Centre to drive collaboration between the public and private sectors in addressing threats faced by the payments ecosystem.

With support of the Canadian government, the company’s Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver is designed to accelerate innovation in digital and cyber security, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

Learnings gained from this initial programme will be applied across the globe through Mastercard programmes and other public-private partnership efforts.

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