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From Fantasy to Reality: Dimitri Mariac Explores the Smartphone Era, Wi-Fi, and 3DS

Thu 16 May 2024

As the countdown begins for the upcoming Cloud & Cyber Security Expo at Tech Show Frankfurt on 22-23 May, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dimitri Mariac, the Risk Solutions Senior Consultant at Visa.

Dimitri shared three pivotal inventions that shaped his journey and continue to impact cybersecurity: the smartphone, Wi-Fi, and 3DS security protocol.

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Unveiling Childhood Dreams

Dimitri’s journey into the realm of cybersecurity began with a childhood fascination with technology, influenced by iconic movies like ‘Back to the Future’.Reflecting on his journey, he vividly recalls the allure of a wireless world depicted in films, a dream that has become a reality with the advent of Wi-Fi technology.

“I remember when I was a kid, there were cables everywhere around my computer,” reminisced Dimitri.

Dimitri elaborated on the transformative power of Wi-Fi, enabling seamless communication and access to information across devices.

The Smartphone Revolution

The transition from a world entangled in cables to one where information flows seamlessly between devices without physical connections has revolutionised communication and connectivity. Dimitri marvelled at how the smartphone, once a product of science fiction, has become an indispensable tool in everyday life.

“The first computer was about one room. It was the size of one huge bedroom. That was your computer, and now it just sits in your hand. It is so small, it is so tiny, and it is so powerful. Just with the smartphone, you can travel in many ways,” said Dimitri, explaining the capability of smartphones to someone from anywhere in the world

Dimitri highlighted the convergence of multiple functionalities in a single device, from communication and navigation to banking and entertainment. The ubiquity of smartphones has transformed how individuals interact with technology, presenting both opportunities and challenges in cybersecurity.

Protecting Against Fraudsters

However, Dimitri’s journey extends beyond mere fascination with technological marvels; it explores the complex realm of cybersecurity and fraud detection. Dimitri emphasised the critical role of education in combating cyber threats, particularly in addressing the tactics employed by fraudsters.

“Education is the biggest work that I have to do. My role is really towards training and educating merchants on how to protect themselves against fraud,” said Dimitri.

In Dimitri’s view, understanding the behaviour of fraudsters and the strategies they employ is essential in fortifying cybersecurity defences. He highlighted the prevalence of phishing scams and social engineering tactics aimed at exploiting human vulnerabilities, stating that 80% of all email traffic is spam, phishing, and scams.

“Phishing, smishing .. with SMS, even phone calls directed to you, pretending to be your bank or pretending to be from the fraud department of the bank, asking you to verify your details, are never going to happen in real life,” warned Dimitri.

Dimitri added that the story is ‘always the same’.

“They are going to rush you, they are going to create some sort of urgency around something that does not exist and that is where you need to be focused,” said Dimitri.

Securing Transactions with 3DS

Dimitri underscored the importance of adapting to emerging technologies like 3DS authentication, which enhances security in online transactions.

“I am really happy to have implemented 3DS because when I look at the differences within the world, any place where you put on 3DS, fraud goes down,” said Dimitri.

However, he acknowledged the challenges posed by evolving fraud tactics, such as the rise of friendly fraud in Europe.

“If you look at the US where there is not as much 3DS, they do not have as much friendly fraud because there is no need for people to do so. It is a really interesting one. This is actually shaping how the fraudsters are targeting your companies,” said Dimitri.

Anticipated Session at Cloud & Cyber Security Expo:

At the upcoming Cloud & Cyber Security Expo, Dimitri looks forward to sharing his insights on fraud detection, cybersecurity trends, and the evolving threat landscape. His session aims to empower attendees with knowledge and strategies to navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape effectively.

“I hope attendees will learn more about what we do at Visa, more about fraudsters’ behaviour, and how they operate, and I am hoping to blend this with the payment and cloud discussion,” said Dimitri.


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