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News: MasterCard Getting The Jump on Hackers -

Fraud has become more and more of an issue for both consumers and banks, with early detection playing a very real role in thwarting cyber thieves and hackers. MasterCard is doing their part to keep people's data safe with the roll out of a new Early Detection System, designed to give issuers a heads up when the level of risk for cards and accounts goes up – giving them the ability to get the jump on cyber thieves.

This predictive tool determines whether an account or card has more risk than others based on their exposure to a wide range of security-related events, including data breaches. MasterCard points out that last month in just one breach millions of identities were compromised, and 4.2 billion records were stolen in 2016.

How long does it take for people's information to be posted on the dark web where it can be used for nefarious activities? According to MasterCard, it can be as quick as nine minutes, so getting the jump on risk is important.

“Knowledge is power, and this service helps issuers act significantly faster and with greater precision to stop potential fraud before it occurs,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at MasterCard.

“Our issuers can now proactively target the fraudulent activity resulting from previously breached or hacked data, helping them reduce costs and maintain the best possible cardholder experience,” he said.

Getting ahead of the hackers

How does it work? The Early Detection System draws upon a wide range of data from the MasterCard network, including both external and internal data sources. It’s designed to spot a variety of illicit activities, which includes the trading of account data by hackers and cards that are being tested by hackers before they start using them.

If there is no hard proof that a card or an account has been comprised the system can also determine when an account looks like it might be at risk based on certain indicators – and here too let issuers know so they can keep an eye on it.

Alerting issuers

When the system spots that either a card or an account has a higher level of risk, they send the issuer an alert that lets them know what is going on with that account or card.

This information lets the issuer determine what action they need to take to protect the account, which can mean anything from monitoring transactions connected to that card or account to replacing the card ahead of time to ensure that it is kept safe. Issuers around the world will be able to use the Early Detection System.