All Together Now

All Together Now

Posted by Cory Warren, Editor

Cybercrime against retailers isn’t going away anytime soon. Just ask the president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

“We’re looking at how we can deal with this long term.” That’s what Kennedy told the Associated Press.

The RILA and several top retailers have now launched an intelligence-sharing center focused on the prevention of cybercrimes targeting retailers. Together is better, it appears.

You don’t have to think too hard to figure out why. In its annual Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon noted 148 security incidents with confirmed data loss among retailers. And when you recall that Target’s late-2013 breach compromised payment card information for 40 million of its customers and the personal data of 70 million customers, you understand the impact of a single breach.

RILA’s Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) is a sign that retailers believe they’re much better off sharing information about cyber attacks than trying to go it alone.

Among the more than 50 participating retailers are Target, Gap, Nike, Safeway and Walgreens. I’ve used a credit or debit card at outlets for each of these five—and many others—over the past six months. So I’m glad to see them coordinating their efforts to help stop a growing problem.

R-CISC retailers will be working with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Secret Service.

The director of global information security for American Eagle admits it’s going to take a team effort. “The reality is, cyber-criminals work non-stop and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack,” said Ken Athanasiou. “By sharing information and leading practices and working together, the industry will be better positioned to combat these criminals.

Of course, these efforts don’t mean you and I are off the hook. We still need to take steps to protect our personal information, even as we share it when we shop.

Paying attention to news reports about data breaches is one way. Another is checking your monthly bank and credit card statements to make sure all the payments and charges listed are legitimate.

With recent action by retailers to tackle cybercrime and data breaches, it’s reassuring to know we’re not in it alone. Fact is, we’re all in it together.

Is it Time to Retire Social Security Numbers?
Even After Heartbleed, Many of Us Still Haven’t Changed Our Passwords.