US Retailers Launch Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center

Gap, Target, Nike, Safeway, J.C. Penney and others are part of the initiative

The United States Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and several major retailers have joined forces and have launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC). 

A lot of major US retailers have been targeted by cybercriminals over the past period, and the industry is determined to take the necessary steps to ensure that companies and their customers are protected against cyber threats.

The R-CISC will help retailers share information on cyber threats, not just among themselves, but also with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other public and private stakeholders.

Some big names have joined the initiative, including Nike, Target, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, J.C. Penney, Lowe’s, Walgreen and VF Corp.

“Retailers place extremely high priority on finding solutions to combat cyber attacks and protect customers,” says Sandy Kennedy, the president of RILA.

“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.”

R-CISC has been launched following consultations between the representatives of 50 major American retailers, law enforcement, government agencies and experts in this field.

“The Secret Service actively supports information sharing initiatives such as the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) announced today by RILA,” notes US Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations, Paul Morrissey.

“The Secret Service also continues its commitment to promote public/private partnerships through its 33 nationwide Electric Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) and two international ECTF's, which bring together over 6,100 private sector partners, members of academia and local, state and federal law enforcement.”

Before launching the intelligence sharing center, RILA consulted with several information security organizations, including IBM, FS-ISAC, CrowdStrike, Information Security Forum, Verizon, iSIGHT Partners, the National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center (NCCIC), and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

“We are highly focused on protecting our customers and maintaining their trust. That's why we have joined the R-CISC and are committed to sharing best practices and information with our peers and other stakeholders in order to strengthen our collective defenses against potential threats,” says Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreen and vice chairman of RILA.

Ken Athanasiou, Global Information Security Director at American Eagle Outfitters states, “The retail industry is already going to great lengths to minimize risk and stay ahead of cyber criminals.”

Athanasiou adds, “The reality is, cyber-criminals work non-stop and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack and by sharing information and leading practices and working together, the industry will be better positioned to combat these criminals.”

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