Global Payment Companies Test Data Security Readiness

Global Payment Companies Test Data Security Readiness

Eighteen payment processors from the U.S. and U.K. tested their systems for cyber attacks.

Global payment companies help their first joint cybersecurity gathering to test their systems' readiness for simultaneous attacks, uncovering differences in their defenses, including how to define a crisis. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co., MasterCard Inc., WorldPay Inc. and Fidelity National Information Services Inc. were among the 18 payment processors from the U.S. and the U.K. that took part in the exercises, which were held recently at IBM's text center in Cambridge, Mass. 

“We put competitors in the same room together, which initially they were hesitant to do,” said Rob Johnston, head of operations at FIS. “But they realized pretty fast how valuable such a gathering is. When there are multiple breaches in an organized attack, it’s better to coordinate the response.”

The participants discovered they had varying definitions of a crisis related to breaches in how they reach out to law enforcement. Agreeing on a common definition and streamlining cooperation with government agencies will be goals for the payments industry, Johnston said. The sector will also seek a more formal way of sharing information on threats.

This is the first time these companies have come together to work towards a solution for the greater public. Executives and regulators are concerned a systematic attack on the plumbing of the financial system could disrupt the global economy.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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