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In today’s data-driven world, compromising on cybersecurity is not an option

In a world of hyperconnectivity, the importance of safeguarding trust cannot be underestimated. An indication of its importance is that cyber now sits above geopolitics and economic challenges as a leading risk area for many key players, including merchants, fintechs, and financial institutions (FIs). As criminals continue to exploit new technologies, pressure is building on organisations around the globe to protect their systems from increasingly more sophisticated risks that are rising in their impact.

The average global cost of a data breach in 2023 reached a staggering $4.45 million (or over £3.5 million), a 15% increase from the previous three years. The 'cost' is not just the expense of loss of customers and investment into acquiring new ones, but the reputational damage and diminished goodwill that organisations experience. Furthermore, our own research recently revealed that 98% of consumers are concerned about the current level of cybercrime – demonstrating the scale of the task that businesses now face in tackling the challenge.

Clearly, this is a threat that organisations of all sizes and all sectors can ignore no longer, and as a world-leading global technology company, we don't take this lightly. In the current economic climate, there are additional obstacles to resourcing cyber protection, motivating us and the industry as a whole to innovate more quickly to secure the future for all stakeholders.

Accelerating the pace of innovation
In order to simplify the link between convenience and security for organisations, it is essential to consistently invest and expand our cybersecurity capabilities. We do this by harnessing best-in-class technology; whether that's artificial intelligence (AI) or quantum computing we are constantly innovating to drive faster, smarter, and more effective protection for all.

Our cutting-edge AI technology not only informs organisations of their cyber vulnerabilities – and the risks existing within their supply chains – but warns them of any threats coming down the road. Threat protection sets traps to stop unwanted bots from getting any closer, and this is powerful as it requires minimal human intervention.

Businesses are now empowered to build trust with the public. For example, a company needed help in identifying which of its vendors had weak cybersecurity. By tapping into joined-up threat intelligence tools, the business could see the real-time network changes affecting its vendors and could take instant action to protect its networks. The result was staggering: a reduction of 50% in its cyber risk. But it doesn't end there.

We are expanding our understanding of the ever-evolving priorities of business leaders. Thanks to recent research carried out by Datos, we know that rising cyber risk combined with more effective tech-powered solutions is encouraging organisations to invest. So, economic uncertainty doesn't mean compromising cybersecurity. In fact, cybersecurity budgets are increasing, with more than half of FIs increasing their budgets between 5-10% in 2022 vs. 2021, a trend expected to continue into next year.

But we must point out that investment is only as valuable as the expertise and knowledge behind it, and having a return on investment is of particular importance in a tough economic climate. Our research also acknowledges the need for outside support. The majority (84%) of cyber security leaders surveyed said they would benefit from third-party assistance in deploying AI-powered solutions, navigating digital identity API security, and knowing which cyber threats are coming around the corner. That support is here.

Emerging challenges require (and inspire) ingenious innovation
The research provides a great temperature test of businesses in the market, but it also helps our future direction and motivates us to move in smarter and faster ways. AI, a hot trend at present, is being deployed at a greater scale and is driving productivity benefits across global communities. This technology isn't just something to tap into to enrich individual experiences; it helps solve some of society's most pressing challenges and keeps people safe.

Take cryptocurrencies. There is estimated to be four times more fraud than in regular fiat payments, so we're devising new innovations to stay ahead with solutions to help customers to make informed decisions that protect their business, as well as the entire payments ecosystem. This is achieved by providing visibility of crypto spend, transaction volumes and an anti-money laundering risk rating exposure. Such solutions mean banks and other businesses can earn and, importantly, keep the trust of their customers – on whom their business depends.

We know that trust is fragile and it can be broken quickly, so as the global financial ecosystem expands, it's getting harder for organisations to navigate the maze of cyber risks alone. This is why it is important we continue to forge ahead to give businesses, merchants, FIs and fintech trailblazing tools and expert knowledge to understand the risks they're facing. Through relentless innovation, we can empower them with the resources to assess, protect and organise against today's attacks– and anticipate those of tomorrow.

Keeping ahead of fast-moving risks
As technology rapidly advances and society becomes more connected, we know there will be new threats that require rapid responses and unprecedented levels of business resilience. With that comes exciting new opportunities for us to push the pace of development even further and deliver innovation with lightning speed. However, in striving to outpace cyber threats, we must ensure trust remains central to our efforts to make payments seamless and secure. Maintaining this equilibrium is vital to securing the connections that power our

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