U.S. retailers plan to share cyber threat data after Target attack

BOSTON, April 14 Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:25pm EDT

BOSTON, April 14 (Reuters) - U.S. retailers are planning to form an industry group for collecting and sharing intelligence about cyber security threats in the wake of last year's big attack on Target Corp.

The National Retail Federation said on Monday it will establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC, for the retail industry in June.

ISACs are industry groups are set up under terms of a 1998 U.S. presidential directive to foster sharing of security information between the public and private sector.

There are more than a dozen such organizations among industries including financial services, emergency services, healthcare, technology companies, public transportation and utilities.

Retailers have been under pressure from Congress and consumers to bolster security since the attack on Target, which resulted in the theft of some 40 million payment card numbers and another 70 million customer records.

"We believe a heightened and well coordinated information sharing platform such as a retail ISAC is a vital component for helping retailers in their fight against cyber attacks," NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay said in a statement. "Establishing a new program takes time, but time is not our friend when it comes to stopping these sophisticated and unpredictable criminals."

ISACs typically run security operations centers that operate around the clock, providing alerts about emerging threats to their members and sharing information provided by law enforcement and other government agencies. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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