Mastercard announced today that Simon Hunt, a cybersecurity expert, has joined the company as executive vice president to head the cybersecurity solutions unit. In a press release, the payment company said Hunt's role will increase Mastercard security capabilities for its credit cardholders, customers, merchant and other stakeholders. The move comes as the threat of cybercrime grows.
According to Mastercard, cybercrime is forecasted to double over the next five years reaching $6 trillion by 2021. Though a cyberattack will hurt the revenues and reputation of large companies, the growing threats can impact all sorts of businesses. Smaller businesses often don't recover from a major hack. Mastercard said that offering enhanced cybersecurity services via strategic partnerships, developing standards and creating new products is what will happen under Hunt's direction.
“The digital security ecosystem is only as strong as its weakest link,” said Ajay Bhalla, global enterprise risk and security officer at Mastercard, announcing the appointment of Hunt. “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. Bringing a proven cybersecurity leader like Simon on board will help us continue to build out and enhance our multi-layered defense approach for our customers, cardholders, merchants and other stakeholders.”
According to Mastercard, Hunt has long been a leading expert in the cybersecurity industry where he has worked for more than 20 years. He is a recognized industry speaker and an entrepreneur. He previously served in executive technology roles at McAfee, Intel, and — most recently — as the CTO of the data protection firm Winmagic. Hunt will take overall responsibility for Mastercard's global cybersecurity efforts, as well as industry standards, fraud reporting, it's security labs and cyber partnership programs.