Dubai’s DIFC and Mastercard partner to bolster cybersecurity for financial firms
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Dubai’s DIFC and Mastercard partner to bolster cybersecurity for financial firms

Dubai’s DIFC and Mastercard partner to bolster cybersecurity for financial firms

Half of global businesses are not prepared to deal with cyberattacks: study


A new partnership between Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mastercard seeks to boost cyber readiness and resilience across the financial industry in the UAE.

The Global Cyber Forward programme combines Mastercard’s capabilities in cybersecurity with those of financial organisations in a bid to “create secure digital eco-systems at a national, local and city-level.”

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 an estimated $5.2 trillion in economic impact potentially being at risk over the next five years. Another study reported that 50 per cent of global businesses are not prepared to deal with cyberattacks.

DIFC is home to over 2,500 financial related companies, including 17 of the world’s top 20 banks and over 250 fintech and innovation companies.

The Centre has recently implemented various cybersecurity initiatives include the introduction of the first GDPR-compliant data protection laws and regulatory licenses enabling new technologies to be tested which align to laws and regulations in DIFC.

“This global partnership between DIFC and Mastercard supports the National Cybersecurity Strategy and Dubai Cyber Security Strategy,” said Commenting on the announcement, Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre. “Firms and individuals will be able to benefit from our collaborative approach to managing the [cybersecurity] issue and see Dubai as the region’s safest place to undertake their financial activities.”

Read: Kaspersky signs MoU with Zayed University to boost cybersecurity training in UAE

Global Cyber Forward builds on other recent cross-industry partnerships. 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 the support of the Canadian government, the company’s Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver is designed to accelerate innovation in digital and cybersecurity, 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.

“Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to consumer trust. Without trust we cannot do business – more so now than at any other time in history,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber and Intelligence, Mastercard.

“We are developing and embedding the latest cyber technologies, in collaboration with our partners around the world, to help advance security and trust in the digital ecosystem. Our partnership with DIFC will help to create more secure and thriving digital economies.”


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