By Ally Orlando, contributing writer
Cyber security is no longer a one-way street — retail solutions providers are now able to collaborate with retailers to strengthen protection against threats.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) recently launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC). It was developed with input from 50 of America's most recognized retail brands and consultation with key stakeholders including federal law enforcement and government agencies.
To identify best practices for sharing threat information, RILA has consulted with third-party cyber specialists such as CrowdStrike, Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), IBM, iSIGHT Partners, Information Security Forum, the National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center (NCCIC), National Cyber Security Alliance, and Verizon.
Through the sharing center, retailers and VARs can share cyber threat information with each other as well as public and private stakeholders, such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This collaborative approach to cyber security will allow VARs to better prepare for sophisticated threats and provide solutions that better protect their retail customers’ information and systems. According to RILA president Sandy Kennedy, retailers place extremely high priority on finding solutions to combat cyber attacks and protect customers.
Dr. Phyllis Schneck, Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Protection and Programs Directorate, says, “We have seen a sharp increase in the number of malicious actors attempting to access personal information or compromise the systems we all rely on, in the retail industry and elsewhere.”
The sharing center performs three functions:
- Identify and share information suspected activity or potential vulnerability
- Provide education and training for security best practices
- Provide research for future cyber security issues surrounding technology
VARs can also benefit from knowledge of future security issues they may encounter with their hardware or software so that they are able to take precautions or warn their retail customers.