Don't Get Hacked. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Mastercard On Fighting Cybercrime And Mastering Cybersecurity

In collaboration with Cybersecurity Ventures

Steve Morgan, Editor-in-Chief

Sausalito, Calif. – Dec. 15, 2022

“The cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $10.5 trillion (annually) by 2025, (according to Cybersecurity Ventures). That’s a mind-boggling number. So it’s never been more important that we innovate and create solutions to keep consumers safe, to keep their data safe.” – Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence, Mastercard at Bloomberg’s Technology Summit, 2022.

Mastercard proclaims its purpose is to connect and power an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.

When it comes to cyber safety, or a lack of it, Mastercard has continuously educated everyone from small business owners to chief information security (CISOs) at the world’s largest organizations.

For the past two years, Cybersecurity Ventures has been producing the Mastering Cyber podcast series featuring a weekly one-minute episode hosted by Alissa (Dr Jay) Abdullah, PhD, deputy chief security officer & senior vice president of Emerging Corporate Security Solutions at Mastercard.

We’re excited to announce that Mastercard and Cybersecurity Ventures will be bringing Mastering Cyber to our listeners for another year in 2023.

Mastercard’s lessons on cybercrime and cybersecurity can also be found in its newsroom as well as media outlets globally.


Some highlights on Mastercard and their innovations in collaboration with research from Cybersecurity Ventures over the past few years:

  • Cybercrime is expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion USD by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. On the current trajectory, small businesses will absorb most of the hit. Between 2020-21, cyberattacks on small companies surged by more than 150 percent, according to RiskRecon, a Mastercard company that evaluates companies’ cybersecurity risk. Cyberattacks can be devastating to small businesses, prompting their products to be removed from supply chains and triggering legal fees, investigations and regulatory filings. About 60 percent of small businesses shut down within six months of facing an attack, the National Cybersecurity Alliance estimates. (Source: BBC)
  • “We’re helping customers embrace the opportunities — and challenges — of digital transformation. Given the rising cost of data breaches, effective cybersecurity is tops on that list,” said Raj Seshadri, president of Data & Services at Mastercard. According to Cybersecurity Ventures research cited by Mastercard, global cybercrime damages are expected to top $10.5 trillion by 2025, necessitating more proactive activity and preparedness, especially from the oft-targeted financial industry. (Source: SC Media)
  • With global cybercrime expected to cost $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, innovating cybersecurity remains critical across industries facing rapid digitization. Earlier this year, Mastercard announced the launch of new attack simulation and assessment platform Cyber Front, enabled by a strategic minority investment in Picus Security. The tool will help businesses and governments enhance their cybersecurity operational resilience as part of Mastercard’s growing Cybersecurity & Risk consulting practice. (Source: Mastercard Newsroom)
  • Increasing cases of ransomware attacks are another priority for Mastercard. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, a business became the victim of a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021. A suite of new tools inside Cyber Secure has been helping businesses fend off threats following Mastercard’s acquisition of RiskRecon in 2020. (Source: TechRadar Pro)

  • It was estimated that one business would fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. “The world today faces a $5.2 trillion cyber breach problem,” according to Cybersecurity Ventures. “This is one of the biggest threats to consumer trust. 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,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard. (Mastercard Newsroom)
  • Cybersecurity skills shortage can be traced to colleges not producing enough graduates in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM. The skill shortage is just part of the problem, there is also a gender gap issue. Less than 20 percent of cybersecurity jobs were filled by women in 2019, according to Cybersecurity Ventures (that figure is 25 percent in 2022). According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, only 1 in 20 girls aspired to be in STEM-based careers compared to 1 in 5 boys. Mastercard is trying to reach out to one million girls globally by 2025 through its STEM education platform program called Girls4Tech. Its mission is not only to close the gender gap, but also to prove that women can play a pivotal role in encryption, fraud detection, biometrics and data analysis. (Source: Tech Startups)
  • Mastercard’s mission is not only to close the gender gap — Cybersecurity Ventures found that women filled less than 20 percent of these roles (in 2019, although the figure now stands at around 25 percent) — but to prove that women can play a pivotal role in encryption, fraud detection, biometrics and data analysis. “Finding a woman in cybersecurity is like finding a unicorn. How can we possibly create products that are good for consumers if we don’t have representation of that gender in the decision-making and engineering processes?” said Dana Lorberg, executive vice president of operations and technology at Mastercard. Working out of all 80 of Mastercard’s business centers around the world, Girls4Tech sends employees out to schools to show girls that women can handle technology just as well as men do. (Source: CNBC)
  • Mastercard created Girls4Tech in April 2014 to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers through a fun, engaging curriculum built around global science and math standards. The program incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence. Worldwide, women made up less than 20 percent of the professionals in cybersecurity jobs, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, and only one in 20 girls opts for a STEM-based career. (Source: Mastercard Newsroom)
  • Cybercrime was forecast to double in the next five years (as of 2018) hitting $6 trillion by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. While cybercrime can have a major impact upon revenues and reputation of a large company, the rapid increase in threats can often have catastrophic effects for all businesses — with many never recovering from an attack. “The digital security ecosystem is only as strong as its weakest link,” said Ajay Bhalla, chief security solutions officer at Mastercard (Bhalla is now president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard). “We believe it’s time to redefine the rules for good cybersecurity practice and use the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, to help protect those sectors that need the most support. (Source: Mastercard Newsroom)


“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Ron Green, executive vice president and chief security officer at Mastercard, in the Women Know Cyber documentary produced by Cybersecurity Ventures and sponsored by Mastercard. Green’s message is spot on, and a call for highlighting role models that girls and women can follow into our field.

The documentary is based on the book Women Know Cyber: 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime. Mastercard’s Dr Jay, also CISO Ambassador for Cybersecurity Ventures, appears in the book and the documentary.

The latest statistics covering women in cybersecurity are featured in the documentary. Women hold 25 percent of cybersecurity jobs globally in 2022, up from 20 percent in 2019, and around 10 percent in 2013. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that women will represent 30 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce by 2025, and that will reach 35 percent by 2031.

“It’s a dream job, it’s innovative, it’s impactful, and I feel very fortunate that Mastercard found me and I love it,” said Sarah Clark, senior vice president, Digital Identity at Mastercard, in the Women Know Cyber documentary.

Cybersecurity Ventures is excited about our collaboration with Mastercard, and we look forward to more of it in 2023 and beyond.

Steve Morgan is founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures.

Go here to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity. Go here to send me story tips, feedback and suggestions.