This month the Ground Labs team were off to Las Vegas – not for gambling – but to exhibit at the Merchant Risk Council 2012.

This show is targeted to fraud and risk in the payment ecosystem, which had connections to security and PCI DSS. The delegation consisted of both fraud and security professionals from some of the largest online brands in the world, including  Google, Paypal, Skype to name a few.

It was interesting to hear feedback on how professionals looking after fraud & risk have a different mindset from their counterparts looking after PCI DSS.

When explaining the specific problem we solved to various delegates, several told us they would rather NOT know where rogue cardholder data was in their environment and make it somebody else’s problem. From this, we can certainly conclude the term “Ignorance is bliss” is still alive and well, unfortunately.

This is evidence to further support the message we deliver at various conferences that people continue to represent a significant barrier to ongoing compliance efforts.

Overall, delegates were inquisitive and eager to learn what the vendor community had to offer in order to help them with reducing Risk & Fraud and improving security in general.

It is key for organisations implementing PCI DSS to involve all staff in taking on the responsibility of identifying and protecting sensitive cardholder data, regardless of job function.

A variety of informative thought-provoking sessions were delivered at the event, especially the talk from Kevin Mitnick, once one of the most wanted hackers in the World. Now a specialist security consultant, Kevin ran a series of on-stage hacking demos that incorporated social engineering and using innocuous devices to compromise various network security layers.

Kevin successfully reminded the audience just how easy it is to break into an organization using any number of attack vectors.

Companies like Sony, Trustwave, McAfee, CyberSource, Microsoft, TicketMaster, 41st Parameter and Ovation also presented at the event and offered interesting views on the topic of fraud and risk mitigation.

We would like to congratulate Semafone, whom we exhibit alongside at many different events, for winning the MRC Emerging Technology Awards (METAwards)
on the final day of the event. Well done guys!

As usual, Ground Labs gave away a new iPad, so well done to Angela Hakimipour from J2 Global in Los Angeles for winning this coveted prize!

Ground Labs will be attending the next MRC event in Dublin in April. Make sure to pop by and say hello if you are attending.

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