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Payments industry makes a tempting target for hackers

Payments Dive

Cliff Gray, a senior associate with industry consulting firm Strawhecker Group, echoed those sentiments, saying payments companies were already a big target for hackers. But now, partly because the West is attacking Russia’s regional economy through financial sanctions, hackers in that Russian region “want to punch back at similar targets” in the U.S., he said in an interview.

For payment networks and multinational corporations like Visa and Mastercard, the danger posed by hackers is real. U.K.-based payroll provider Parasol and Indonesia’s central bank were targeted in recent years by hackers. The outage at Parasol in January delayed payments to thousands of contractors. Indonesia was attacked by ransomware in January, though its public services were not affected.

And they’re rich targets. According to industry research firm The Nilson Report, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover credit, debit and prepaid cards generated a combined $6.164 trillion in U.S. purchase volume in the first nine months of 2021. Consultancy EY estimates that global cross border payment flows are expected to reach $1 trillion in 2022.