Mastercard is building a European Cyber Resilience Centre at its headquarters in Belgium.
It comes after the European Commission published a survey last month showing that Europeans are growing increasingly anxious about their ability to “stay safe” online.
The most recent survey found that just 59 per cent of European internet users believe they can protect themselves against cybercrime, down 12 percentage points from when the survey was last conducted in 2017.
On Monday, Mastercard said the new operation will be the first time that it has invested in a centre such as this, outside of North America.
“The security and privacy of our customers’ data is paramount,” said Javier Perez, President (Europe) at Mastercard.
“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.”
In January, FTI Consulting published results of research conducted with 2,276 senior employees working at companies across the G20. It found that 64 per cent of companies had experienced a form of financial crime over the previous 12 month period. Theft and fraud accounted for some 24 per cent of all crimes committed.
Mastercard’s new unit will become the cybersecurity hub for Europe working with national cyber intelligence centres, trade groups, law enforcement agencies and central banks across Europe.
The decision to launch the new centre has been driven by threats lurking in the European payments ecosystem, the company said in a media announcement. It plans to strengthen its existing workforce by employing cyber and physical security experts.
It is hoped that the new centre will strengthen Mastercard’s responsiveness to cyber security threats. The company wants to see quicker response times to issues and swifter resolutions for customers affected by natural disasters and major service and security incidents.
“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,” Perez added
“Our European Cyber Resilience Centre improves collaboration amongst key organisations, helping to ensure businesses and individuals feel secure when sharing information online.”