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NRF Beefs Up Defenses Against Cybersecurity Threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) is readying a program that will provide retailers access to information on cybersecurity threats identified by retailers, government and law enforcement agencies and partners in the financial services sector.

The program, developed in consultation with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), will launch with the establishment of an information-sharing platform for retail industry information security specialists, and plans call for a retail ISAC to be established in June.

"We believe a heightened and well-coordinated information-sharing platform such as a retail ISAC is a vital component for helping retailers in their fight against cyber attacks," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Establishing a new program takes time, but time is not our friend when it comes to stopping these sophisticated and unpredictable criminals. The willingness of the FS-ISAC to work with retailers provides our industry with a new and important tool as we explore all of the options available for merchants to protect their customers and their businesses."

In early February, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling for the establishment of a Retail and Merchant Industry ISAC.

"Establishing a Retail and Merchant ISAC will allow the industry to better share information that could help prevent the types of widespread consumer data thefts we now are seeing," Warner said. "I am pleased to see FS-ISAC collaborating with retailers to establish a tool for real-time sharing of information and best practices around the serious and growing threat of hacking, cyber and identity theft."

Recently, representatives from NRF held discussions with the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies for insight and guidance on how to improve communication, identify available resources and collaborate more effectively to help retailers combat criminal cyber activity.

NRF also retained the services of Kim Peretti, a partner in the law offices of Alston and Bird LLC. Peretti is part of the firm's White Collar Crime Group and co-chairs the Security Incident Management and Response Team. She is also a former director of PricewaterhouseCoopers' cyber forensic investigation unit and a former senior litigator for the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

As announced in January, NRF is working closely with the cybersecurity professionals from The Chertoff Group, providing members with the insight and guidance in risk management and cybersecurity expertise.

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