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India’s Exclusive Payment Data Security Forum Focuses on Securing Payment Data in The Pandemic Era

RBI, NCSC, NPCI join the PCI Security Standards at the 2nd PCI SSC India Forum to address payment cybersecurity challenges and solutions as the country continues to remain among the most cyberattacked countries in the world

MUMBAI, India, 9 December 2020 — The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) hosted its second annual India Forum on payment data security online on 9 December, drawing nearly 1000 registrations representing leading players in the Indian payment card industry.

Industry speakers at this year’s event included representatives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Amazon Internet Service Provider Limited (AISPL), SISA, and Pine Labs. Leading tech companies like Google and Netflix attended India’s exclusive payment data security forum.

PCI SSC’s executive team provided key PCI Standards updates including plans for the next revision of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as well as information about the important issues of software security and contactless payments. 

P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India who delivered the keynote address, highlighted RBI’s preference of interoperability in the payment ecosystem and reinforced the importance of PCI Security Standards in developing these systems for a safer payment ecosystem. He further spoke about the best practices, enhanced infrastructure, industry collaboration required to help protect payment card data in the country.

Industry leaders also discussed the impact COVID-19 had on the payments and security industry. The PCI SSC provided updates on the various resources and adjustments made to better support the needs of the global payments industry during the pandemic. The regional speakers focused on observations and learnings from data frauds and breaches in India, while providing a progressive outlook of the payment’s ecosystem in the country. Nitin Bhatnagar, Associate Director – India, PCI Security Standards Council, said that this year’s event is especially important, stating: “Digital payments have become a way of life in India in 2020, due to the pandemic. As a result, the country becomes an increasingly attractive target for cybercriminals and security of cardholder data must be a top priority. Today’s discussion brings together expertise from top leaders across the industry to address the biggest challenges facing data security in India.”

Lt. General (Dr) Rajesh Pant, India’s National Cybersecurity Coordinator, emphasized the importance of adhering to data security standards, as India is one of the most cyber attacked countries in the world. “2020 will be remembered not only for the pandemic, but also as the year of India’s digital transformation. We have observed people adapting to and adopting the means of working from home, collaborating virtually, e-governance, online transactions. Unfortunately, we have also witnessed an exponential rise in the number of cyber-attacks in the country,” he said.

Lance J. Johnson, Executive Director, PCI Security Standards Council, added: “According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is expected to reach 6 trillion USD in damages by 2021 which makes it one of the greatest threats to economic success for businesses in almost every country around the world. Together we must rise to the challenge of fighting all payment crime, but especially cybercrime to ensure that everyone, from business owners to employees and customers can do business securely and continue to prosper. This event is an important part of our efforts to create awareness, share knowledge and foster greater participation from Indian organizations in the work we do globally to improve payment security.”

Lt. Gen. (Dr) Pant added, “One of the key security challenges is that industry stakeholders observe security as a cost overhead and not an essential investment. When fintech companies design their solutions, security must be built into it and should be a wrap-around component. Cybercriminals and fraudsters are always one step ahead of the industry, and so going forward, planning and building secure business models will be critical. I have seen the rigidity and the secure transaction environment provided by the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and strongly recommend all big verticals and the industry to adopt these.”

Ahead of the upcoming National Cybersecurity policy, Lt. Gen. (Dr) Pant highlighted the vision of the national cybersecurity strategy is to ensure a safe, secure, trusted, resilient and vibrant cyberspace for India’s prosperity.  Emphasizing on the Indo-US strategic partnerships he further added that, “Among the several global standards, the PCI Security Standards fit well when it comes to relevance and reliability. Cybersecurity is a team sport; everyone has a role of play and global collaboration will be the key towards a safe cyberworld.”

About the PCI Security Standards Council India Forum
The India Forum brings together representatives from regional businesses, industry groups and government to discuss payment security challenges and solutions for organizations in India and globally. It provides a venue for Indian organizations involved in PCI SSC to share their experiences and insights and highlight opportunities for regional companies to participate in the development of PCI Security Standards and programs in 2021.  

The annual forum is the latest of ongoing efforts by PCI SSC to increase awareness and adoption of PCI Security Standards for payment security in India. The event also featured a roster of expert speakers from Indian businesses, industry groups and government. Key topics of discussion included India’s payment landscape, observations and learnings from data breaches and frauds, the role and importance of adopting PCI data security standards, and the need of global collaboration, feedback and knowledge-sharing to help create a safer payments ecosystem in India and around the world.

About the PCI Security Standards Council 
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) leads a global, cross-industry effort to increase payment security by providing industry-driven, flexible and effective data security standards and programs that help businesses detect, mitigate and prevent cyberattacks and breaches. Connect with the PCI SSC on LinkedIn. Join the conversation on Twitter @PCISSC. Subscribe to the PCI Perspectives Blog.

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