Mastercard hosts simulated cyberattack session to prepare merchants to deal with hacks and data breaches

As part of its efforts to create a safe and secure transaction environment for merchants and financial institutions in the region, Mastercard hosted a mock hack, a data breach exercise aimed at empowering merchants and financial institutions with the information and know-how required to tackle rising cybersecurity threats.

Organized on the back of Mastercard’s Global Risk Leadership Forum Middle East and Africa 2017, the half-day exercise intended to simulate a cyberattack to provide participants with a first-hand experience in dealing with data breaches which are growing ever more sophisticated and frequent.

The mock hack provided an opportunity for participants to understand their particular role in an event of an attack, and how and where to enlist assistance and advice, and know the immediate steps needed to be taken to mitigate the impact of a data breach for all impacted. Merchants were also reminded of best practices to keep their point-of-sale devices from being compromised and prevent sensitive data exposure.

The sessions were conducted by senior Mastercard employees specializing in data breach response and information security, who also briefed the participants of how to facilitate effective exchanges of cyberthreat information and ways to quickly detect active threats before they cause damage.

The exercise also included a segment on law enforcement, where Lieutenant Colonel Saeed Al Hajri from Dubai Police highlighted the role local authorities would play in the case of a cyberattack.

Ron Green, Mastercard Chief Security Officer, said: “Mastercard has been at the forefront of the fight against fraud for over 50 years, and security and integrity of the payment environment remains our No. 1 priority both here in the Middle East and around the world. Facilitating the information exchange and sharing our cybersecurity insights with merchants and acquirers – who are both critical stakeholders in a payment transaction – will help everyone more effectively deal with cyberthreats and data breaches. The data breach exercise that we hosted in Dubai today is in line with our ongoing efforts to promote best practices in dealing with cyberattacks and to facilitate information sharing.”


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