Mastercard Launches Innovation Lab in Israel with Enel X

Mastercard, fintech, cybersecurity, innovation, lab, Enel X

Mastercard partnered with Italian energy multinational firm Enel X to open the FinSec Innovation Lab in Beersheba, Israel, which is dedicated to working with early-stage Israeli startups targeting FinTech and cybersecurity solutions for the payments space and energy sectors worldwide.

The lab is focusing on several areas, including, “API security, vulnerability management, ransomware, digital identity and authentication, virtual payment wallets and fraud prevention,” FinSec Innovation Lab CEO Sidney Gottesman told the Times of Israel.

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Following a call for applicants in January, the lab vetted over 100 applicants, Gottesman said, before choosing five startups working on proof-of-concept (PoC) demonstrations — Imvision, Rescana, Mirovia, Connected Insurance and Kenbi.

“The world is undergoing a profound digital transformation, which requires innovative solutions to make life easier while ensuring information security and data protection for organizations, institutions and private consumers,” Gottesman said..

Read more: US, Israel Partner on Cybersecurity Issues

The FinSec Innovation Lab in Beersheba is one of many similar endeavors Mastercard is spearheading in other major cities, such as Dublin, New York, Vancouver and Sydney. Mastercard’s Israeli headquarters is in Tel Aviv.

Israel is especially focused on the global cybersecurity space, with startups raising record investments in 2021 and some going public. In the first six months of this year, cybersecurity firms raised 41% of all funds, according to the Israel National Cyber Directorate.

Regardless of the focus, Israel is also a major target of cyberattacks, with an October Google report revealing that Israel was the country most affected by ransomware since 2020.

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The increase in the number of attacks prompted the U.S. and Israel to embark on a new agreement to support the sharing of information related to the financial sector.