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Mastercard deploys AI to tackle cyber security

Mastercard has announced Cyber Secure, an AI-powered suite of tools that allows banks to assess cyber risk across their ecosystem and prevent potential breaches. With these capabilities, banks can identify and prioritise threats and vulnerabilities throughout their cyber environment. Additionally, acquiring banks can help merchants understand their own cyber risk, preventing hundreds of millions of dollars in potential fraud.

As the digital economy expands, both in size and complexity, so too do its points of vulnerability that may be subject to attack. 

“The world today faces a US$5.2 trillion cyber breach problem," said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. "At Mastercard, we aim to stay ahead of fraudsters and to continually evolve and enhance our protection of cyber environments for our bank and merchant customers. With Cyber Secure, we have a suite of AI-powered cyber capabilities that allows us to do just that, ensuring trust across every experience, for businesses and consumers.”

Enabling continuous monitoring

By empowering banks with the ability to continuously monitor and track their cyber posture, Mastercard says that the solution moves the industry to a more proactive state in managing and preventing data compromise, protecting the integrity of the payment ecosystem and customer data. In addition, it helps to reduce financial losses associated with attacks, saves time and resources, and provides a comprehensive view of cyber risk through one application.

Drawing on the capabilities of RiskRecon, acquired by Mastercard in 2020, the risk assessment is performed using advanced AI that combines multiple public and proprietary data sources. The AI evaluates the data against 40 security and infrastructure criteria, with the impact and importance of each vulnerability analysed to produce a cyber risk rating and issue priority navigator.

In 2019, Mastercard says it saved stakeholders US$20bn of fraud through its AI-enabled cyber systems. Cyber Secure forms a key part of the firm's multi-layered cyber security strategy to secure the ecosystem, protect cyber environments, define industry standards and collaborate across industries. 

Lithuania gets tough on AML

Elsewhere in the financial crime world, the Lithuanian government has given the green light to the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering. The public-private cooperation project was initiated by the Bank of Lithuania. 

“This decision confirms that Lithuania takes a proactive high-level approach in the field of anti-money laundering (AML), by joining the efforts of both public sector institutions and financial market participants," said Jekaterina Govina, director of the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania. "It definitely sends a strong signal in the AML fight.”

The Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering aims to mobilise public and private efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CTF) as well as to strengthen the prevention framework. The Centre was established by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania and the country’s commercial banks, while other financial market participants will also be invited to join its activities in the future. The Financial Crime Investigation Service, the Police Department of the Republic of Lithuania, the State Tax Inspectorate and the Prosecutor General’s Office are expected to take joint action with the Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering as well. 

The new centre has a number of aims it will be seeking to fulfil:  

  • Share information on the ML/TF typologies and set up a dedicated information exchange platform, thus helping the financial market ensure proper risk identification and management.
  • Carry out studies, assessments and analyses, prepare guidelines, recommendations, methodologies and legislative initiatives to improve the AML/CTF framework in Lithuania. 
  • Assist private sector entities in conducting internal AML/CTF risk assessments.  
  • Strengthen competencies of public and private sector staff in the AML/CTF field, organise trainings, seminars, conferences and other events. 
  • Publish information on cooperation and implementation of AML/CTF measures in the country.

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