The Canadian federal government and Mastercard are working together to develop technologies and standards aimed at ensuring safe and secure use of any device connected to the internet.
According to a new press release, Mastercard has opened an intelligence and cyber centre in Vancouver, housing 380 new employees working on areas such as security, AI, and the Internet of Things.
Mastercard is pumping $510 million CAD into the project, with Ottawa also contributing a $49 million investment through its Strategic Innovation Fund.
This new investment builds on an acquisition Mastercard made in 2017. Two years ago, Mastercard purchased NuData, a company headquartered in Vancouver that prevented fraud by using session and biometric indicators. According to Johan Gerber, EVP of Security and Cyber Innovation at Mastercard, the company liked NuData and saw so much value in the business that building a new global hub was an easy decision.
“Ensuring payments are both convenient and secure has always been a top priority for Mastercard,” said Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of Mastercard. “The Vancouver centre will help us meet the growing demand for technology solutions to reduce the cost of cyber-attacks, enable today’s connected devices to become tomorrow’s secure payment devices, and address the growing vulnerabilities associated with the Internet of Things.”
The Vancouver hub will focus largely on the idea of building new frameworks, regulations, and best practices for an increasingly connected world. By 2025, there will be 50-75 billion connected devices, and Mastercard has continually been working towards increasing security when it comes to enabling payments in all kinds of devices. This will be a major pain point the new centre will focus on.
“As Canadians use connected devices more and more, including for sensitive financial services like banking, they want to know that their data and privacy are protected,” explained Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Our government is investing in a new cybersecurity centre in Canada to develop the technology solutions Canadians and people all over the world need to protect their personal and financial information when they use their devices. This will make Canada a world leader in cybersecurity and help us tackle the cost of cybercrime in Canada — an estimated $3 billion a year.”
The centre will be located in Vancouver’s Old Stock Exchange building, where NuData currently works out of. The centre is Mastercard’s sixth in total: there are others in New York City, Dublin, Sydney, St. Louis, and Pune-Vadodara in India.