Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA, said the initiative’s aim is to form a public-private partnership to address expanding cyber threats and to develop industrywide safeguards to protect consumers’ personal data.
“Retailers place extremely high priority on data security and invest tremendous resources to prevent attacks, but cyber criminals are persistent and their methods of attack are increasingly sophisticated,” Kennedy said. “Enhanced security measures help to thwart attacks, but unfortunately, some attacks have been successful, and the resulting incidents have affected millions. By working together with public-private sector stakeholders, our ability to develop innovative solutions and anticipate threats will grow, enhancing our collective security and giving customers the service and peace of mind they deserve.”
RILA’s initiative comes on the heels of two major retail security data breaches.
Target, a RILA member, reported a breach in December that the retailer initially said affected 40 million consumers who purchased goods in stores and potentially had their debit and credit card information stolen. The retailer later said another 70 million consumers may have had personal data such as their names, addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers stolen.
The cyber attack prompted an outcry on Capitol Hill and led to Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), who has introduced data privacy legislation, to call a hearing on cyber crime and privacy on Feb. 4, where John Mulligan, Target’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, is slated to testify.
Neiman Marcus disclosed on Jan. 10 that 1.1 million payment cards may have been compromised in its data security breach.
RILA said its initiative will focus on three major components. As it seeks to strengthen security against cyber attacks, the association will form a Retail Cybersecurity Leaders Council comprised of senior retail executives specializing in cybersecurity to improve security systems in the industry by sharing threat information and discussing effective solutions in a “trusted forum.”
RILA said it will lobby lawmakers to develop federal data security breach notification legislation to establish a national baseline and also work with legislators to help develop federal legislation that would strengthen the financial system and “at a minimum” establish mechanisms allowing information sharing between the public and private sectors. The retail group said it will also focus on ways to improve payment security, including eliminating the magnetic strip technology used on credit and debit cards, which a RILA spokesman called “antiquated.”
RILA said it will continue to press for the PIN security and chip-based smart card technology, security measures that branded card networks and issuing banks have used for years in Europe to protect consumers.
Kelly Tackett, U.S. research director at Planet Retail, a global retail data, technology and trend firm, said retailers bear some responsibility in installing more secure and advanced payment card systems.
“Although mobile or proximity payment systems have been on the industry’s radar for much of the past decade, the lack of a clear frontrunner along with consumer concerns about contactless payment security has contributed to a slow uptake,” Tackett said.
Asked why the U.S. has lagged behind Europe and has not moved to upgrade its payment card systems, a RILA spokesman said retailers have been pressing the financial sector for some time to “migrate” to the PIN and chip system being used in Europe.
“The recent breaches highlight the fact that we can’t take a static view of payment security,” he said. “We all agree the mag-stripes are an antiquated security system.”
RILA is also proposing to use its forum with the new initiative to discuss longer-term solutions to stay a step ahead of sophisticated criminals. A final plank of the initiative focuses on addressing consumer privacy.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews