After two days of panels, a Startup Battlefield and a 24 hour hackathon, TechCrunch wrapped up another successful Disrupt NY event with thousands of attendees. Visa joined in on the fun by sponsoring the Disrupt hackathon, where 700 developers descended on New York City for a chance to win $8,500 from Visa.
My Visa colleagues Lee Mokri and Sofia Mata-Leclerc were on-site at the hackathon helping developers throughout the night and eventually awarding the prizes. The Hackathon was a way to generate more awareness and create a forum to discuss improving payment security, and make learning about security more engaging and digestible. We tapped into the incredible creative talent of the developer community to take a new approach to this challenge. After working through the night, developers submitted numerous creative concepts, making it a tough choice for the judges.
The grand prize winner, Theo Rushin, Jr., created a game designed for kids and parents to play and learn about online security, together. The runner-up, Frank Denbow, was recognized for creating a phishing game that delivers tips throughout each stage of play.
Last week the World Economic Forum release a report called, “Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage.” As part of the Forum’s steering board on personal data, I was able to contribute to the report, which explores the importance of unlocking the value of data in a way that preserves the trust of all stakeholders.
One important theme in the report is the value of managing consumer expectations through context setting. What that means is the use of personal data should be understandable when compared to what is being shared and why. Most consumers don’t need or want every detail of every data flow. What they are ultimately looking for is clear benefits from use of their data. For that they need context.
At Visa we understand the importance of context. In the Visa system, for example, consumers are delighted when analytics are used to identify attempted fraud on their accounts. I have repeatedly heard from consumers who applaud us for working with their bank to flag a suspicious purchase. It makes them feel safer. It is only possible if we use their own shopping behavior to look for patterns. But this data use is expected — and welcomed — by consumers because they understand the context. And they support its purpose.
As companies explore new ways to use data and the opportunities and responsibilities that come with them, they need to keep the importance of context and consumer expectations in mind. When consumers understand the context, they feel a sense of transparency and control. With context, there is trust. And with trust, there is opportunity.
The next time you’re in a restaurant and pay using your Visa card, think about this scenario. In a fraction of the time it takes the server to take your order, your transaction will travel instantly over VisaNet to Visa’s network operation center located somewhere on the east coast of the United States.
VisaNet is the largest electronics payment network in the world, spanning the globe and supporting electronic payments in countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. The network is in charge of core processing services like authorization, clearing and settlement and can process a single transaction anywhere in the world in just 1.4 seconds. VisaNet is capable of processing more than 24,000 transactions per second and features some of the most advanced risk and fraud detection systems in the payments industry.
To better understand how VisaNet works and how Visa protects each transaction, two Australian journalists were granted access to the network operation center. These two journalists got a behind-the-scenes look at the home of VisaNet, giving them a glimpse of what goes into reliably and securely processing 11,000 transactions per second.
March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, and Visa Canada is reaching out to consumers about the role they can play in helping to protect their payment cards.
Social media has become an everyday part of life for many young people. In fact, a recent survey showed that 86 per cent of 18-34 year olds are active online – but that same survey showed that this age group also has the highest tendency to overshare personal information online. Similarly, younger people are also taking risks with their payment cards. The survey showed that 45 per cent of respondents reported risky behavior like loaning their card to others and sending payment card information via email/text.
It’s true that Visa cardholders are protected by our multiple layers of security, but there are also simple actions that cardholders can take to make sure they are doing their part to protect their payment cards – and their personal information, too.
To illustrate the point, we created an interactive, ‘choose your own adventure’ style video to educate viewers about fraud, helping them recognize risky behaviours and reduce their chances of being victimized. Check it out at www.theconcertbyvisa.ca, and see if you have what it takes to guard your card!
Small businesses help drive the U.S. economy. They are a key source of innovation and creativity, a bedrock part of communities, and a leading creator of new jobs. Unfortunately, they can also be tempting targets for cyber criminals. In fact, small businesses represent more than 90 percent of all the merchant data breach compromises reported to Visa.
As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) at NASDAQ in New York to open the day’s trading. We came together yesterday to raise awareness about the security risks small businesses face and the solutions and resources available to help them.
Also as part of the day’s events, I joined the NCSA and security firm Symantec to discuss the results of a new small business security survey. Not surprisingly, the results indicated that many small businesses do not feel equipped to adequately protect themselves from cyber threats. This does not have to be the case.
While the theme of our events at NASDAQ was small business cyber security, it is an area of focus for Visa year-round. Visa has developed numerous resources including best practice guides, webinars and a website dedicated to consumer and small business security with simple, cost effective, easy-to-understand steps small business owners can take to greatly improve their security.
But we can’t reverse this trend alone. That’s why we also work in partnership with trusted organizations in government, the private sector and law enforcement to promote cyber education awareness. Yesterday’s event is just one example. And earlier this month, we collaborated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to release the “Internet Security Essentials for Business,” a free, practical guide for small and medium sized businesses on improving their cyber resilience.
Small business owners have an important role to play as well. Data security is fundamental to securing payments and maintaining customer trust. The best advice I can give to small businesses is: Be proactive. Don’t wait until you have had a breach or lost valuable data to take stock of your company’s data security practices. Make security a priority and start by taking common sense measures to make your cyber security as strong as the padlock you put on your store’s front door.
Guest blog by Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is about everyone doing their part to make sure our online lives are kept safe and secure. The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is our Shared Responsibility.
So what does this entail?
It means taking time to “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” – these actions are fundamental to online safety. They are so important, in fact, that they are the headline of our national, year-long consumer campaign that we’re leading in partnership with the Anti-Phishing Working Group and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and with the support of sponsors like Visa who understand that consumers have an important role to play in fraud prevention.
Consumers should take security precautions, understand the potential consequences of their actions and behaviors and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
It also means:
Keeping a Clean Machine and making sure your devices are malware-free and have updated software, web browsers and operating system.
Making Passwords Long and Strong and protect your accounts. Combine capital letters and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
Throwing out Suspicious Links in emails, advertisements, social media posts and other communications.
Being a Smart Online Shopper and making sure the site you’re purchasing from is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://” when entering your payment information. This means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
These are easy ways you can make a difference and help make the Internet safer and more secure for all. You can also get involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. We have ways for you to show your support, whether you have five minutes or an entire day to spare.
Hold a “family conference” to discuss how each member of the family can help to make their personal computer and other online devices safe from cyber attacks. Read through and discuss the suggestions from the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tip sheet. (Download athttp://staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect/tips-and-advice.)
Add the following signature line to the bottom of all your emails, “October 2012 is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Let’s make our online lives safer and more secure! Check out details at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam.”
Join one of the NCSAM events across the country throughout the month or, if you can’t make the trip, then join us online for our Twitter series including one we’ll be one with Visa’s @VisaSecurity on October 11.
Demonstrating a continued commitment to helping improve our nation’s cybersecurity, last month Visa teamed up with San Jose State University and the Bay Area Council to host a cybersecurity “boot camp.”
The goal of the week-long camp is to give students who have career aspirations in the growing field of cybersecurity the unique opportunity to receive hands-on training and instruction on how to detect a cyber crime through simulated attacks. Visa’s head of global information security, Gary Warzala (pictured below), participated in an executive roundtable at the camp, which culminated in a Capture the Flag cyber competition which Gary attended.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, cybersecurity is becoming an important topic of discussion — nationally and internationally — at the highest levels. Visa has been a leader in efforts to raise awareness about this important issue. For example, last year we hosted our third biennial Security Summit in Washington, D.C., bringing thought leaders from government and the private sector to discuss timely security topics relevant to electronic payments. Last year’s Summit featured the first live data breach simulation, moderated by former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael V. Hayden, which offered a glimpse into how a compromised entity works with Visa, government, and financial institutions to protect consumers’ sensitive payment information and minimize fraud. We hosted a second breach simulation in Asia this spring as well.
To date, the payments industry has done more than any other to defend itself from cyber crime. The cornerstone of the industry’s security standards is known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. But standards can’t stand still. We need expert resources to improve and implement them in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. And those resources are in increasingly short supply. That’s why it’s crucial for government and companies to work together to ramp up recruitment and training in this critical field and why “boot camps” such as the one hosted by San Jose State University are so important if we hope to have enough skilled cyber security professionals to meet the nation’s needs.
As the national dialogue over how best to defend against cyber threats continues, Visa will continue to be an active participant in this discussion. We believe that increasing cooperation between business and government, along with ensuring we have the brightest minds and most effective tools available, are essential fronts in the battle against cyber crime.
Just in time to travel to the London 2012 Olympic Games, my new Visa EMV chip corporate credit card arrived in the mail. This type of card was new to me, so I put it to the test in London, where this technology is more commonplace. One place I tested it out was Upper Playground, a cool store in London’s Soho neighborhood that features the work of local artists.
Making purchases was quick and simple. The main difference was that instead of swiping my card, I inserted it in the terminal. Then I simply signed for my purchase, just as I normally would in the U.S.
Other American travelers at the Olympics this year are likely to have been carrying their new chip cards with them, too. That’s because last year, Visa announced plans to accelerate the migration to chip technology in the U.S. Since that time, U.S. financial institutions have reported issuing an estimated 1.5 million chip cards as of June 30, 2012, and we are continuing to see positive momentum as the industry moves toward more broad-based adoption of this technology.
Why is chip coming to the U.S. now? EMV contact and contactless technology will help lay the foundation for NFC-based mobile payments, which we expect to take-off in the coming years. Chip also provides an added layer of security to transactions and enhanced acceptance for Americans traveling abroad.
Being at the center of innovation is nothing new for Visa. Bringing chip to the U.S. is another way that we are paving the way forward.
The concept of “digital wallets” has been in the news quite a bit lately. There are a number of wallet service offerings in the market today allowing consumers to shop more conveniently from their computers and mobile devices.
The opportunities for more convenient payments through a wallet service are endless – receive alerts about account activity and spending, store digital receipts and warranty information, and track and spend rewards or loyalty programs to name a few.
While Visa works to ensure emerging payments like digital wallet services use advanced security technology to protect consumers, it’s also important that consumers understand what they must do as users to protect themselves from fraud. That’s why Visa developed a series of best practices called Digital Wallet Security: Just “LOK” It.
Briefly stated, there are three letters to keep in mind in order to “L-O-K” access to your money and keep it safe:
Lock it down – Protect (physically and with passwords/passphrases) the devices you use to access your payment options: personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Only you access sensitive information – Safeguard sensitive data, including user names, passwords, PINs, passphrases and answers to security questions.
Know who to call – Before anything happens, know who to call if your digital wallet were to be compromised.
Knowing how to better protect your digital wallet will give you greater peace of mind and help you get the most out of the coming revolution in mobile commerce. Take a few moments to review the Just “LOK” It information at www.VisaSecuritySense.com.
Guest blog by Mary T. Monahan, Executive Vice President and Research Director, Mobile - Javelin Strategy & Research
The fact that top innovators, Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, are entering the banking and payments space is a nerve-wracking proposition to many established firms in the banking world. We are entering a new technology cycle where vast amounts of wealth are up for grabs and new players can disrupt established brands to dominate. In Javelin Strategy and Research’s new report The Gang of Four (and Possibly Five) Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon – and PayPal: Positioning for Payments in the New Mobile-Social Technology Era we examined players in the payments sphere of the emerging mobile-social technology cycle through the lens of three key consumer perceptions that form the Javelin TIP (High Trust- High Innovation – High Privacy) model for mobile wallets. Our recent survey in December of over 5,800 consumers found consumers rank Visa highest in two of those three categories: trust (ability to protect financial information) and privacy (ability to protect personal information) with PayPal taking second in both. Within the third key category of innovation, consumers ranked Visa sixth, closely behind PayPal and Facebook. Consumers not only placed Visa ahead of their direct competitors, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, but also in front of the largest banks and wireless carriers. However, any mobile offering that doesn’t take the primary financial relationship into account may run into trouble: for its own customers, each bank shoots to the top of the ratings for trust and privacy, and in certain cases, even innovation! But the data also showed that no competitor reached the gold zone of high trust, high innovation and high privacy protection by itself. Visa’s leading edge in financial trust and personal information privacy may translate into an advantage in consumer willingness to adopt its mobile offerings, but alliances between innovators and competitors can shift the landscape overnight.