Retailers to share threat data in cybersecurity powwow

The National Retail Federation announced an information-sharing platform that's hailed as the first step to establishing cybersecurity continuity in the post-Target era.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

In the wake of last year's massive data breach at Target Corp., U.S. retailers are finally heeding the pressure from Congress to step up security efforts.

The National Retail Federation said on Monday it will establish a retail-specific Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) — a joint cybersecurity cooperative that will provide retailers access to critical information on threats identified by fellow retailers, government agencies, law enforcement and partners in the financial services sector.

The program was developed in consultation with FS-ISAC, the financial services forum for security threats.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement: 

We believe a heightened and well coordinated information sharing platform such as a retail ISAC is a vital component for helping retailers in their fight against cyber attacks. Establishing a new program takes time, but time is not our friend when it comes to stopping these sophisticated and unpredictable criminals. The willingness of the FS-ISAC to work with retailers provides our industry with a new and important tool as we explore all of the options available for merchants to protect their customers and their businesses. 

Target's unprecedented security breach last November resulted in the theft of 40 million payment card numbers and another 70 million customer records — not to mention a public relations nightmare for the retail giant.

But it seems the Target disaster was only the beginning. Upscale retailer Neimen Marcus reported a security breach in January and recent reports throw troubled but storied retailer Sears into the fray. 

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