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Why Visa Is Voicing Support For CISA

In the ongoing debate over the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), Visa has made it clear exactly where it stands when it comes to the use of information sharing to improve the country’s cyber defense.

On the heels of CISA being passed by the U.S. Senate, Visa released a statement emphasizing the need for information sharing to be used as a weapon against the number of cyber attacks that have accelerated over the last 18 months.

According to Ellen Richey, Visa’s Vice Chairman of Risk and Public Policy, the passing of CISA in the Senate is a “significant step forward in protecting payment data networks as well as the personal privacy of our citizens.”

Richey cited analysis that estimates cybercrime costs U.S. consumers and businesses nearly $100 billion per year. Despite the reports that tens of thousands of attacks on payment data are thwarted every day, the ever-growing cyber threat comes with serious implications.

But information sharing presents the opportunity to maintain and strengthen the safeguards in place to keep cybercriminals at bay, Richey said.

“The payments industry is a long-time participant in information sharing networks within the financial services sector,” she explained. “While today we have protections in place to help keep payment data safe, to keep it that way we need to enact robust cyber threat information sharing across industries.”

Visa has pursued its own information sharing efforts through strategic partnerships with companies like cybersecurity firm FireEye and by driving the adoption of secure technologies such as EMV chip, encryption and tokenization.

While information sharing among payments players is crucial, Richey also explained that congressional action is needed to fill the gaps by fostering multi-industry sharing between analysis centers and key federal departments and law enforcement.

“It is impossible to overstate the threat posed by cyber attacks, and there is clearly a lot of work to do. The government and the private sector have a duty to work together,” Richey stated.

“As we rely more and more on digital networks, the number of cyber threats increases every day and the bad guys are only working harder. The House and Senate are finally moving in the right direction.”

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