Mastercard, NTU Singapore partner to expand cybersecurity regime

Mastercard and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have announced a partnership to boost the Asia Pacific region’s cybersecurity capabilities through training, reskilling and research.

The collaboration will combine Mastercard’s cybersecurity expertise and research function with NTU’s education infrastructure to train and reskill cybersecurity talent, as well as develop projects for scientific research.

The Mastercard-NT Joint Lab is the first step in Mastercard’s wider pipeline to establish its first Singapore-based Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (COE) for the APAC region.

“The Mastercard-NTU Joint Lab is a great example of how industry partnerships and the sharing of expertise is driving innovation in the cybersecurity and fintech space,” Ari Sarker, President, Asia Pacific at Mastercard, said.

“Government support and facilitation has been a critical factor in Mastercard’s ability to deliver this initiative successfully. The Singapore Economic Development Board was instrumental in providing Mastercard strategic direction and economic context in the conceptualization process, including discussions with NTU.”

The Joint Lab also builds on the existing national Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plan that laid the foundations for Singapore’s science and technology development every five years.

“As digital technologies become more pervasive, strengthening our cybersecurity ecosystem will be even more critical,” Philbert Gomez, Vice President and Head, Digital Industry Singapore, Economic Development Board (EDB), said.

“The Mastercard-NTU Joint Lab is a timely initiative that will advance cybersecurity research and train more cyber talent. EDB looks forward to the Lab furthering cybersecurity innovation in Singapore.”

The inception of the partnership comes at a time when cybercrime is estimated to cost the global economy around US$5 trillion or five per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP).

“As the world becomes increasingly connected through advances in emerging technologies like cloud and quantum computing, 5G and AI, it is critical we innovate to keep the digital ecosystem safe and secure,” Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said.

“Leveraging the new Mastercard-NTU Joint Lab to help harness, grow and nurture best in class talent will help deliver a safe and trusted digital ecosystem, today and tomorrow.”

Professor Lam Khin Yong, Senior Vice President (Research) at NTU, said the Joint Lab signifies the importance of cybersecurity and “digital trust” as Singapore works its way to become a “Smart Nation”.

“NTU’s collaboration with Mastercard is thus timely to ensure that digital technologies and solutions can be made secure and trustworthy,” he said.

“NTU will bring our strong interdisciplinary approaches in research to address some of the most pressing and complex challenges facing the fintech industry. The collaboration is also aligned with the national RIE2025 plan, under which developing trust capabilities is one of the strategies.”