The PCI Security Standards Council will host the second Middle East Forum on 6-7 April 2016 in Dubai, UAE. Among the speakers at the Forum will be Izdehar Safarini, a member of the PCI SSC Board of Advisors and the Deputy CEO of IT and Operation in MEPS (Middle East Payment Services). In this blog post we get her insights on the state of payment security in the Middle East region and her upcoming session at the Middle East Forum.
What unique perspective do you add to the Board of Advisors?
Izdehar Safarini: I bring the perspective of the Middle East region, especially when it comes to challenges. There is wide adoption of the PCI Data Security Standards in the Middle East, and many regulatory authorities strongly support the idea that the standards be mandatory for banks and financial institutions.
One priority is to increase the level of adoption of the PCI DSS to the entire region, including merchants. We need to encourage more organizations to become Participating Organizations, and demonstrate the benefit of compliance.
How has payment security changed in the region since last year's Middle East Forum?
Izdehar Safarini:The Middle East Forum is relatively new; the first was in 2015. Over the last couple of years, it has become clear that the security concerns addressed at the Middle East Forum are not just regional, but also global. The Middle East region has a very young population, with roughly 60% of the population under 25 years old. Because of this, the adoption of new technology and digital payments is relatively high. Security measures need to scale to meet the expectation of a high level payment security with new technology.The Middle East Forum is also an indicator of the active participation of organizations in the region, as attendees and as Participating Organizations in the Council.
What is the one thing you hope attendees take away from your presentation at the PCI Middle East Forum?