Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Sandy Kennedy will testify today before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, “Data Breach on the Rise: Protecting Personal Information from Harm.” Kennedy will testify on cybersecurity threats retailers face and the steps retailers are taking to address these threats and protect consumers.
Cyber-criminals are persistent and their methods of attack are increasingly sophisticated. Federal agents notified more than 3,000 U.S. companies last year that their computer systems had been hacked.
“Retailers take cyber threats very seriously, investing tremendous resources in talent and technology to defend against them, and they also understand that defense against these attacks must be an ongoing effort, evolving to address the changing nature of the threat,” Sandy Kennedy states in her testimony to the Senate Committee this morning. “To that end, in January, RILA launched a comprehensive Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative. The initiative is designed to enhance the industry’s existing cybersecurity and privacy efforts, inform the public dialogue, and build and maintain consumer trust.”
To improve upon current processes, Kennedy is urging Congress to take action on federal data breach notification legislation that is practical, proportional and sets a single national standard that replaces the patchwork of state laws in place today.
Kennedy says in her testimony that, “A federal law that preempts the patchwork of state laws in place today, will help ensure that customers receive timely notification and actionable information following a breach.”
The RILA Initiative includes the formation of the Retail Cybersecurity Leaders Council, which has started work to establish a mechanism for improved industry-wide threat information sharing. A recent survey of the group found that a majority of RILA members already participated in informal or non-retail specific threat information sharing, but that expanding such efforts to include engagement with other partners and government would bolster efforts to defend against the growing threat.
RILA is committed to collaboration not only within the retail community but also with other stakeholders in the payments system, law enforcement, academia and government. In February, RILA led the formation of the Merchant and Financial Services Cybersecurity Partnership, a group of 18 trade associations dedicated to strengthening overall security across the payments ecosystem and bolstering consumer confidence in the payments system.
“We believe that in working together with public and private sector stakeholders, our ability to develop innovative solutions and anticipate threats will grow, enhancing our collective security and giving our customers the service and peace of mind they deserve,” Kennedy states.
Read Kennedy’s full testimony here: bit.ly/1ebOINW
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.