Retailers Hit New Milestone in Cybersharing Efforts

Piggybacking on an existing system for the financial industry, the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center earlier this month announced a new portal for sharing cybersecurity threats. The group called the move an "important step" in its effort to curb data hacks.

The retail industry’s efforts to prevent another data security breach like Target’s during the 2013 holiday season are moving along, and part of that strategy involves adopting a system already used by banks.

The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC), a partnership between the major retail outlets spearheaded by the Retail Industry Leaders Association last year, will launch a new portal that takes advantage of existing capabilities already offered through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC). The platform will allow member companies to more efficiently share and contextualize information about cyberthreats with banks, federal authorities such as the FBI and Secret Service, and other stakeholders.

“When you think about payment systems, really everyone from card brands … and retail, we’re all part of the whole ecosystem of payment systems,” FS-ISAC President and CEO William Nelson said, according to Dark Reading.

R-CISC Executive Director Brian Engle noted that the joint system will help boost efficiency.

“The formalization of the sharing portal supported by the FS-ISAC is an important step in the evolution of retail cyber-threat information sharing,” Engle said in a news release. “The R-CISC portal will substantially increase the efficacy of the information sharing already underway by contextualizing, prioritizing, and cataloging the information shared between retailers, other industries, and law enforcement.”

The move comes as cybersecurity has held an increasingly prominent place in the news cycle. President Barack Obama made the issue a key point of his State of the Union address in January, and last month he hosted a cybersecurity summit where retail initiatives took center stage.

On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to advance a threat-sharing cybersecurity bill, and a similar bill is wending its way through the Senate. Privacy concerns have stalled similar legislation in the past, but supporters of both bills said they think the measure has a good chance of passage this time.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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