Mobile Payments Leader Mastercard’s New Cybersecurity Toolkit Improves Small Business Security

February 22, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Security for small businesses has always been difficult to handle. Small businesses don’t tend to have much in the way of resources to protect themselves, and even those who do often don’t because they believe there’s no reason for anyone to attack them. Mastercard, one of the leaders in mobile payments systems, is out to address that point with a new partnership with the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA). This new partnership yielded a complete cybersecurity toolkit, which should prove a useful weapon against hackers and bad actors all over.

The toolkit, reports note, offers a range of tools to help protect small businesses against many common threats. Such tools include tools designed to help businesses inventory digital assets, generate strong passwords, perform data backups, and activate multi-factor authentication systems. It’s not just the tools, either; the package also offers educational materials like training videos, which can help directly address some other potential security missteps.

GCA CEO and president Philip Reitlinger noted “Our focus is on producing a dynamic clearing house of operational tools that help small and medium businesses address risk and improve their cybersecurity posture, leveraging the deep expertise of our network of global partners, such as Mastercard, and the experiences of actual GCA toolkit users.”

Given 2018 data from Verizon that suggests small businesses are actually the target of a majority of attacks—including malware, ransomware, and phishing scams—there’s a lot of reason to be the force behind providing extra security to frequently-targeted small businesses. Indeed, the educational material will likely be as helpful as the operational tools will. Since there are some breeds of cyber attack that depend on what’s called “social engineering,” getting employees to act as unwitting dupes to be the weak point for a cyber attack, educating employees will be about as useful as the more direct tools. Of course, all this makes Mastercard that much more attractive to potential users since it’s the company that seems to best protect customers.

Between physical tools and training, the Mastercard / GCA toolkit should be a welcome new addition to the landscape. There’s a lot to like in this setup in both immediate protection and protection for down the line, so small businesses may want to get in while kits are still available.