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    Trade Groups Form Cybersecurity Partnership

    Participants will seek common solutions to criminal threats

    Trade organizations representing the merchant and financial services industries have united in a cybersecurity partnership that will focus on increased information sharing, enhanced card security technology, and maintaining consumer trust. Initiated by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), the partnership includes such retail groups as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the National Associations of Convenience Stores (NACS), the National Grocers Association (NGA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF).

    “Retailers place extraordinarily high priority on protecting customers’ personal information,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of Arlington, Va.-based RILA, which recently unveiled its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative for public- and private-sector stakeholders to address these issues.“This partnership will improve collaboration across the payments ecosystem allowing us to work together to develop near- and long-term solutions that will enhance security for our customers.”

    “The food retail industry, with its rich history of a vigorous connection with its shopper, stands ready to work with all stakeholders across the payments chain – processors, credit card companies, equipment manufacturers and banks – to find real improvements in increasing customer data security,” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, also based in Arlington.

    “Independent grocers take protecting our customers’ information very seriously,” observed Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of Arlington-based NGA, who added that the partnership aimed “to enhance cybersecurity measures, prevent and prosecute criminal attacks, and … protect the trust that our customers have in their independent grocer.”

    “This partnership is a positive step in the right direction, since there is no single solution to the complex issues surrounding cybersecurity,” said Matt Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “That is why it is important to bring stakeholders together as we seek answers, share solutions and implement programs that not only prevent hackers from breaching data systems, but protects the consumer by shutting down these criminal enterprises,”

    Better Together

    Formed under the conviction that the payment "ecosystem" of retailers, banks, card companies, processors, security and technology vendors, and others operates best when cyberthreats are confronted together, the partnership will encourage collaboration across the industries, looking to such models as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s (FS-ISAC) information-sharing mechanism. Members will also champion innovative payment technology as it evolves and collaborative solutions to growing threats in such areas as the mobile environment.

    To achieve these goals, the partnership’s participating trade organizations will assemble into working groups comprising themselves, member companies and other stakeholders.

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