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Retailer group formed to share information on hacks, prevent breaches

updated 10:29 pm EDT, Thu May 15, 2014

Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center formed to help retailers pool information

A new organization has been formed to share information between retailers regarding cyber threats and breaches of company data. The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) was formed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), along with several large retailers including Target, Gap, Nike and Safeway. Formation of the group is seen as a step forward for retailers to protect against or lessen the the impact of customer data theft.

After the large scale breach of Target and other retailers like Michael's and Neiman Marcus, it is has become important that retailers take a look at potential illegal data acquisition and ensure that criminal system break-ins are investigated. By establishing the R-CISC, these companies make an attempt to correct their ways and spread information among one another instead of holding it back for weeks or months, as has been seen in some instances.

"Retailers place extremely high priority on finding solutions to combat cyber attacks and protect customers," says RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "In the face of persistent cyber criminals with increasingly sophisticated methods of attack, the R-CISC is a comprehensive resource for retailers to receive and share threat information, advance leading practices and develop research relevant to fighting cyber crimes."

Through the new organization, the companies will be sharing information on potential threats among themselves, as well as with analysts, stakeholders, and government agencies like the FBI, Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security. The information shared with the government will be provided on an anonymous basis.

Upon the decision to form the R-CISC, the RILA consulted with several recognized cyber specialists to "identify leading practices related to threat information sharing," according to the released statement. Also in the statement, the R-CISC put out a call for retailers and merchants of all size to become a part of the organization.

Information on the funding of the organization has not been disclosed, but it has been granted tax-deductible 501(c)(3) status. The board of the company will be made up of executives from several of the retailers involved.

by MacNN Staff



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