ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is joining forces with other trade associations to fight cybercrime.
The new cybersecurity partnership will focus on exploring paths to increased information sharing, better card security technology and maintaining the trust of customers. It comes at a time when retailers -- most notably Target Corp. -- are facing an increasing number of security breaches.
"Everyone, from the smallest to the largest businesses, has an interest in keeping our customers' payment data secure," said Hank Armour, president and CEO of NACS. "Working collaboratively across industries to find ways to thwart data thieves is the best approach to protecting customers' information."
Joining NACS in the pact is the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), the American Bankers Association (ABA), the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the Clearing House (TCH), the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the National Grocers Association (NGA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA), and the National Retail Federation (NRF).
"We are committed to working together to ensure customer personal and financial information is secure and protected," said Tim Pawlenty, CEO of FSR. "Exploring avenues for increased information sharing and collaborating on innovative technologies and safeguarding data will be critical in defending against common enemies."
FSR and RILA initiated the discussion about presenting a united front to beef up cybersecurity.
"Retailers place extraordinarily high priority on protecting customers' personal information," said Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA. "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 partnership will encourage collaboration across the industries, focused on the following principles:
- Information sharing is paramount to warding off cyber attacks and protecting data. The financial services industry has a robust information-sharing mechanism through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) that could serve as a forum or model for further information sharing across sectors.
- Other innovative technologies must be implemented, such as systems that will transmit payment data in a way that is unique and dynamic to reduce the risks. Ongoing innovation will be needed to outpace the threats.
- Stakeholders of the payments ecosystem must forge partnerships to collaborate on long-term, comprehensive solutions to the threats that are growing to card-not-present situations and the mobile environment.
The participating trade associations will form working groups made up of themselves, member companies and other stakeholders. These working groups will be focused on increasing threat information sharing, innovative technologies that add safeguards to protect consumers within the payment system and other areas like national data breach laws.