Mastercard: protecting digital ecosystems with AI
In an announcement made by Mastercard, the company reported the launch of its new AI power solution - Cyber Secure. The first of its kind suite of tools has been designed to allow banks to assess cyber risks across their ecosystem, and prevent potential breaches.
Mastercard reports that the capabilities provided by its new suite of tools will allow banks to identify and prioritise threats and vulnerabilities throughout their cyber environment, as well as the capability for acquiring banks to help merchants understand their own cyber risks and prevent fraud.
“The world today faces a $5.2 trillion cyber breach problem. This is one of the biggest threats to consumer trust. At Mastercard, we aim to stay ahead of fraudsters and to continually evolve and enhance our protection of cyber environments for our bank and merchant customers. With Cyber Secure, we have a suite of AI-powered cyber capabilities that allows us to do just that, ensuring trust across every experience, for businesses and consumers,” commented Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard.
The company expects Cyber Secure to be a big step forward when it comes to quantifying and prioritising cyber vulnerabilities, by empowering banks with the capability to continuously monitor and track their cyber posture.
“It moves our industry to a more proactive state in managing and preventing data compromise, protecting the integrity of the payment ecosystem and consumer data. In addition, it helps to reduce financial losses associated with attacks, saves time and resources, and provides a comprehensive view of cyber risk through one application,” stated in a company statement.
Drawing on the capabilities of RiskRecon - acquired by Mastercard in 2020 - the risk assessments conducted by the new solution is performed by harnessing advanced AI that combines public and proprietary data sources.
In 2019 alone, Mastercard saved stakeholder US$20bn of fraud via its AI enabled cyber systems.
M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.