Sen. Mark Warner announces retailers to share data on cyber threats

mark-warnerAt an event in Richmond today, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) announced that the National Retail Federation will establish an information sharing platform to allow the retail industry to coordinate with law enforcement agencies and partners in the financial services sector to more efficiently access information on cybersecurity threats. In the wake of the Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches, Sens. Warner and Mark Kirk (R-IL) called for the creation of an Information Sharing Analysis Center (ISAC) in order for the retail industry to better protect consumer data.

At an event at Richmond furniture store LaDifference with leaders from both the Virginia Retail Federation and the Retail Merchants Association, Sen. Warner spoke about the importance of strengthening consumer protections in our increasingly digital economy.

“With continuous advances in technology, it’s vitally important that we continue to strengthen our efforts to protect consumers from cybercrime by enacting smart, targeted protections,” Senator Warner said. “I’m glad that the National Retail Federation has announced that it will create a platform to allow for increased communication and collaboration so we can stay ahead of data thieves.”

“Retailers, financial institutions, professional services firms, and, of course, consumers, are all the victims of such crimes,” said Sarah Paxton, co-chair of the Virginia Retail Federation and co-owner of LaDifference. “At LaDiff, and within the Virginia Retail Federation, we make the security and confidentiality of our customers’ data a top priority. When breaches occur, consumers lose trust and retailers lose business.”

“Our retailers strive each day to successfully operate their business, provide for their employees, and contribute to their community.  Anytime a customer’s information is compromised, the result is loss for our retailers.  It is a serious issue and a primary concern for retailers,” said Nancy Thomas, President/CEO, Retail Merchants Association.

Senator Warner has been a leader in the Senate in calling for better consumer protections from data theft.  Earlier this month, Sens. Warner and Kirk introduced the Consumer Debit Card Protection Act of 2014, which will increase consumer protections and reduce liability caps when debit cardholders are hit by fraud.  Personal liability for credit cards is capped at $50 but debit cardholders can be on the hook for $500 or more.

Sens. Warner and Ron Johnson (R-WI) also recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would help alert taxpayers sooner if they have been victims of identity theft. Additionally, given that cyber-attacks come from all over the world, Sens. Warner and Kirk recently urged the Administration to require more cooperation by Ukraine with our government and law enforcement in fighting cybercrime. Ukraine is a center of cybercrime activity and is believed to be the epicenter of the Target data breach.


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