Bank, store anti-hacker partnership moving forward

A rare industry partnership to fight criminals online is moving full stream ahead, leaders of the joint effort said.

In a new video, the heads of the Financial Services Roundtable and the Retail Industry Leadership Association said the effort is “making progress.”

“We now have an important structure in place that can deliver real progress focused on the issues that matter the most across the payment system and protect customers from cyber threats,” said Sandy Kennedy, president of the retail group, which counts stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target among its members.

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“The partnership will bring together experts from financial and merchant companies to focus on a few key areas where we can work together to accomplish our goals.”

The financial and retail industries have often been at odds, but they announced last month that they would lay down their swords after a rash of high profile data breaches had caused concern on Capitol Hill and around the country.

The partnership recently held its first meeting and set the goals, mission and structure for moving forward.

“We have an opportunity to do what our customers expect and deserve to prevent cyberattacks in the future,” said Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican presidential candidate and now head of the Financial Services Roundtable.

“While we may not agree on everything, we can achieve important goals where we do agree.”

The group will be comprised of an advisory committee made up of top executives from each of the participating trade groups like the American Bankers Association, the International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association. Pawlenty and Kennedy will co-chair the committee.

On top of that committee, the partnership will also form five working groups to focus on sharing information, cybersecurity, secure credit cards, mobile security and legislative responses. 

One priority will be to push Congress for a national law requiring banks and companies to notify customers if their data may have been exposed in a data breach. Currently, 46 states have some type of data breach notification law, but businesses have complained that the lack of a federal standard forces them to navigate a maze of rules. 

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