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Retailers launch center for cyber intelligence sharing


The Retail Industry Leaders Association has launched an independent organization, the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center, in cooperation with several retail brands to strengthen defenses against cyber attacks and protect customers.

Through the center, retailers can share cyber threat information among themselves and, via analysts, with public and private stakeholders, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and the FBI, the Arlington, Virginia-based RILA said Wednesday in a statement.

The center will also provide advanced training and education and research resources for retailers, it said in the statement.

The RILA said the center will identify real-time threats and share intelligence to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks; educate the retail community on leading practices for information sharing and protecting against cyber criminals; and collaborate with academia to provide research on emerging technologies and potential future threats.

“Retailers place extremely high priority on finding solutions to combat cyber attacks and protect customers,” RILA President Sandy Kennedy said in the statement. “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 cybercrimes.”


“We have seen a sharp increase in the number of malicious actors attempting to access personal information or compromise the systems we all rely on, in the retail industry and elsewhere,” Phyllis Schneck, deputy undersecretary for Cyber Security and Communications at Homeland Security's National Protector and Program Directorate, said in the statement.

The center will further enhance the Department of Homeland Security's collaboration “with this important sector of the American economy with information and resources that can help companies keep their networks and the information stored on them safe and secure,” she said.

Incoming board members are: Ken Athanasiou, global information security director, for Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters Inc.; Rich Noguera, head of information security for San Francisco-based Gap Inc.; Scott Howitt, vice president and chief information security officer for Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney Co.; and William Dennings, chief information security officer for Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike Inc.

Also, Colin Anderson, vice president of information technology for Pleasanton, California-based Safeway Inc.; Jenny Ley, director of corporate security intelligence, for Minneapolis-based Target Corp.; David McLeod, chief information security officer for Greensboro, North Carolina-based VF Corp.; and Jim Carmeli, information security officer, for Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreen Co.

The center's website is www.r-cisc.org.

The RLI and the New York-based Financial Services Roundtable announced they would establish a partnership to address cyber security issues in February.