G7 Nations Work to Protect Mobile Payments With Huge Cyberattack Simulation

May 14, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Security has long been a trouble spot in mobile payments. Everywhere you looked, there were concerns about security in mobile payments; any time a survey came out about what people worried about when it came to mobile payments, security was all over the list. Not without reason, of course, but a little extra protection may be coming in as the greatest financial titans on the planet come together to tackle cybersecurity issues.

More specifically, the G7 nations—the largest economies on Earth—are preparing a “cross-border cyberattack simulation,” which plans to test security in the wake of a massive cyberattack that hits several countries at once. The event is slated to bring in not only central banks, but also finance ministries throughout the group.

Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Finance for France, recently attended a cybersecurity conference in which he discussed the event, saying that it would help to emphasize how vital it was that the G7 work together should such attacks take place in reality.

We’ve already seen numerous reports of data breaches and more arise within just the last few weeks. Equifax’s first-quarter earnings report pointed out $680 million in losses related to the data breach it suffered and the regulatory investigations and class-action lawsuit that followed. Equifax has been working for over two years now to get back customer trust and also fight the consequences of that data breach. Moreover, governments are increasingly targeted by data breaches; just last week, Baltimore was hit with a ransomware attack, and new reports noted that at least 170 different governments have been hit with cyber attack since 2013.

With mobile payments increasingly taking on a cross-border tempo—especially in developing markets like Africa—planning for a cross-border attack is just the smart thing to do. It’s good to see governments sufficiently prescient to tackle an attack before it becomes a reality, though admittedly, the preparations can only go so far. Whatever form this simulated attack takes, the chances of that form being even kind of similar to an actual attack are somewhat slim.

Still, any kind of advance preparation is smart. The next major cyberattack is a when, not an if. Getting ready in advance should produce some worthwhile protections.