Retailers join forces to share information on cyber threats

Retail security has become a major topic of discussion since the start of the Target breach that took place during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Now, merchants are coming together to start fighting back.

According to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, several major retailers have come together to create a way of sharing information that will be used to help protect the industry from hackers and other forms of cyber crime.

The companies involved include heavyweights like Target, J.C. Penney, Gap, Nike and Walgreens which will start working with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Homeland Security Department, the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Businesses will be able to anonymously share tips with the government through the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance facility in Pittsburgh.

A team of dedicated specialist will examine the information submitted and create reports about new forms of malware, activity from criminal forums and software weaknesses.

Phyllis Schneck, deputy under secretary for cyber security for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Homeland Security Department, said in the article that there has been a sharp increase in the number of malicious individuals trying to take advantage of businesses payment solutions. Now there is a system for retailers and other businesses to rely on.

"We are confident that by sharing with our peers and industry stakeholders through the R-CISC, our industry will collectively strengthen its ability to protect critical customer information," Warren Steytler, vice president of information security at Lowe's, said in the announcement.

Every piece of card processing software can be vulnerable to attack and this new group will help identify many of these threats before they take off.

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