Visa, FireEye to help merchants defend against cyber attacks

Visa Inc. and credit security company FireEye Inc. are partnering to assist merchants and credit issuers guard against advanced cyberattacks seeking to breach payment data.

The companies are developing a Community Threat Intelligence (CTI) that will use threat information from both companies and make it possible for merchants and issuers to detect attacks quickly and respond to them to keep information technology and payment infrastructure safe.

FireEye will operate the web-based service, which is of higher quality than attack detection systems currently used in the industry. It will share threat intelligence using email and static documents.

As the CTI is put into use, FireEye and Visa will make available to merchants and issuers tools that will use greater cyber intelligence and greater quality threat monitoring. Representatives from both companies will work in tandem with Mandiant, FireEye's cyber forensics group. Sharing of knowledge between merchants and issuers is of great importance, as research has shown date compromises often follow similar attack patterns. Identifying these patterns and alerting merchants can mean fewer stolen accounts and enhanced protection for customers.

“The threat environment for merchants is more hostile than we’ve ever seen -- attack groups focused exclusively on stealing consumer data are continuously expanding their operations and employing new techniques. It’s a daunting prospect for any merchant whose business could collapse if they lose customer trust,” David DeWalt, chief executive officer of FireEye, said. “This new collaboration brings together two industry leaders to help protect merchants and payment data and minimize the impact of attacks by sharing information.”

Visa Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf agreed.

"By combining Visa’s unparalleled view into global payments and FireEye’s industry-leading cyber security expertise, we intend to bring faster, actionable intelligence directly to players across the payments system,” he said. “Although we are leading efforts to render stolen data useless through smart technologies, data security remains foundational for merchants. We’re pleased to be working closely with FireEye, which has been at the front lines identifying and investigating some of the most significant compromises around the world, to provide critical cyber intelligence to merchants and financial institutions.”