Mastercard’s inaugural Cyber & Security Summit peaks in Melbourne & Sydney



No matter the industry, from ecommerce, digital payments, fintech, or financial services, cybersecurity concerns are ubiquitous. Collaboration is an industry priority. Fortunately, the omnipresence of cyber crime is one of the strongest cybersecurity tools we have, as we can jointly leverage and grow from our experiences.

As we come down from our inaugural Mastercard Cyber and Security Summit in Australia, one thing is clear. We have what it takes to keep our consumers safe on their digital journey. As long as we work together.

With global and market based experts flying into Melbourne and Sydney from Europe and the U.S, it was energising to all be in the same room for the first time in years. Leaders and pioneers across sectors throughout Australia came together to discuss the latest trends in cyber intelligence and cybersecurity, digital onboarding, customer experience, and managing risk in the age of ransomware attacks.

Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia at Mastercard, addressed the diverse crowd in the room,

“Business travel is back in business!”

To underline his statement, Wormald detailed the data trail he had left around the world over the past fortnight; from Sydney to New York to Beijing to Melbourne and back to Sydney. A souvenir for his efforts? A hacked credit card.

“Until we all move forward to address cybersecurity and digital identity risk challenges together, the environment will stay insecure. Industry-wide collaboration is key.”

Our keynote speaker, the inimitable Mallika Sathi, Vice President, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions and Digital Identity at Mastercard didn’t mince her words.

“The expansion of digital connectivity has resulted in us all – businesses, government municipalities, and critical infrastructure – increasingly becoming subject to ransomware attacks.”

The data doesn’t lie. During the first half of 2022, there were a total of 236.1 million ransomware attacks worldwide. Overall, the number of ransomware attacks decreased rapidly between the second and fourth quarters of 2021, going from nearly 189 million cases to 133 million.

A recent report from RiskRecon found that 41% of American cities do not have cybersecurity programs strong enough to protect their data assets, making them vulnerable to breaches and ransomware attacks. Meanwhile, APAC is ranked the third highest region to be targeted by cyber criminals.

The past 12 months has also seen a growing number of ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure. According to a Ciphertrace report, a cyber-attack shut-down the computer systems of Ireland’s Health Service Executive, delaying critical healthcare services.

Sathi acknowledged the intensified sense of urgency from all of us to step up our cybersecurity and data privacy legislation measures. She invited the room to better understand the major trends in cybersecurity regulations. This includes operational resilience and IT hygiene, cyber incident reporting, the evolving geopolitical environment, supply chain management, and even reevaluating the role of the Chief Information Security Officer.

“We must balance security, reporting, innovation, and regulatory compliance.”

Sathi spoke to Mastercard’s evolution within the digital ecosystem; from securing transactions to protecting trust in every interaction.

Specifically, the focus is on enhancing trust in four key areas:

  1. Digital
    Enhance security for our consumers on their digital journey
  2. Financial
    Extend security for other types of transactions, beyond cards.
  3. Cyber
    Diversify existing security beyond transactions and implement it in the cyber realm.
  4. Systemic
    Extend security to mitigate systemic operational risk.

All four areas are intertwined. This means the security and trust within one is dependent on the other; enhancing cyber security across all transaction types in the consumer digital journey. It is all about connected intelligence. Indeed, establishing a proven track record of accurate recognition and secure transactions online is imperative.

“We are proud to be trusted custodians of our customer’s data,” states Sathi. “We will not lose that trust.”

In closing remarks, Sathi reminded us all of our part to play, as we work together, to stay two steps ahead of bad actors.

The second half of the summit was dedicated to expert-led roundtable discussions that delved deeper into each touchpoint of the customer’s digital journey.

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