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Mastercard Opens New Intelligence and Cyber Center in Vancouver, Canada

New Vancouver Space Becomes One of Six Global Technology Centres for Mastercard

Mastercard on Thursday unveiled a new cyber center in Vancouver, Canada, located at the refurbished Old Stock Exchange Building, where Mastercard subsidiary NuData is also stationed. It becomes one of six global technology centers, and will develop cyber solutions for the global payments ecosystem. Other centers are in New York, St. Louis, India (Pune-Vadodara), Dublin and Sydney.

The payments giant has long taken a proactive position to ensuring the final customer has a secure experience by helping its merchants secure their websites. "The Vancouver center," said Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada, "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."

Old Stock Exchange in VancouverThe new center is launched in partnership with the Canadian government as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund. Mastercard's investment is an additional $510 million. "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," said Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

The center will bring a boost to technology employment, particularly in Vancouver, with just short of 400 new jobs. In the U.S., Mastercard is a sponsor of the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative-- a public/private scheme to help top student security talent pay off student loans and secure long-term employment. Since this includes U.S. federal involvement, it does not apply in Canada. Nevertheless, Mastercard told SecurityWeek that "as [the scheme] grows we are looking for opportunities to expand to other countries."

Meanwhile, the firm is considering how best to make use of the Canadian university talent for its new center. "We are absolutely thinking about it," the firm told SecurityWeek. "Leveraging the tech talent in Vancouver and collaborating with Canadian universities is part of our plans for the center -- although, at this stage, we do not have any specific program details to share."

The firm did say, however, that the new center will enable the creation of 100 student co-op positions, and new "roles for software engineers, data scientists, project managers, analysts, product designers and information security experts."

Apart from passive biometrics and analytics subsidiary NuData, The Old Stock Exchange is also home to Brighterion staff, and employees from Mastercard's R&D, operations and technology, and cyber and intelligence divisions. NuData was acquired by Mastercard in 2017.

Brighterion, headquartered in San Francisco, provides real-time fraud and cyber threat protection based on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. It was also acquired by Mastercard in 2017.

In late 2019, Mastercard announced that it had agreed to acquire RiskRecon, a Salt Lake City, UT-based online security monitoring company that focuses on third-party risk management. 

Related: Inside Mastercard's Push for Continuous Security 

Related: Mastercard to Buy Supply Chain Monitoring Firm RiskRecon 

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Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.