The Retail Industry Leaders Association, along with several major U.S. retailers and brands, launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center on Wednesday, the centerpiece of which is a Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

Among those companies participating with and supportive of the R-CISC, an independent organization, are American Eagle Outfitters, Gap Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Nike Inc., Target Corp., VF Corp., Safeway Inc. and Walgreen Co. Executives from these companies are board members of R-CISC.

Through the R-CISC, retailers will share cyber threat information among themselves and, through analysts, with public and private stakeholders such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The R-CISC will also provide advanced training and education and research resources for retailers.

“Retailers place extremely high priority on finding solutions to combat cyber attacks and protect customers,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA. “In the face of persistent cyber criminals with increasingly sophisticated methods of attack, the R-CISC is a comprehensive resource for retailers to receive and share threat information, advance leading practices and develop research relevant to fighting cyber crimes.”

In order to create a structure tailored to the needs of the retail industry, the R-CISC was developed with input from more than 50 of America’s largest retailers, and in consultation with key stakeholders including federal law enforcement, government agencies and subject matter experts.

Ken Athanasiou, global information security director at American Eagle Outfitters, said, “The retail industry is already going to great lengths to minimize risk and stay ahead of cyber criminals. The reality is, cyber criminals work nonstop and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack, and by sharing information and leading practices and working together, the industry will be better positioned to combat these criminals.”


RILA, with membership that includes more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers that combine for $1.5 trillion in annual sales, formed the Retail Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative in January in the wake of major data breaches at chains such as Target and Neiman Marcus.

The R-CISC is open to retailers and merchants of all segments and sizes and aims to become a resource for not only the retail industry, but related merchant industries as well. RILA is working with retail associations, and the R-CISC already has the support of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

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