NEW YORK (AP) — Some of the nation's largest retailers are banding together in hopes of protecting consumers' personal and financial information from hackers and thieves.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association, along with several top retailers ranging from Gap Inc. to Walgreen Co., on Wednesday launched an intelligence sharing center focused on the prevention of cybercrimes against retailers.
According to RILA, the center will allow retailers to share information about data breaches and potential threats and also inform members of law enforcement and industry analysts.
Sandy Kennedy, RILA's president, said crimes stemming from data breaches are one of the biggest challenges facing retailers.
"It's really in everyone's interest, every retailer's interest, to protect information against cybercrime," Kennedy said in an interview ahead of the group's announcement. "Criminals are getting more and more sophisticated. We're looking at how we can deal with this long term."
Other participating retailers include Nike Inc., Lowes Cos. and Target Corp., which was hit with a massive data breach at the height of last year's holiday shopping season. The breach exposed flaws in Target's security system and was a big factor in the abrupt departure of CEO Gregg Steinhafel last week.
The incident at Target resulted in the theft of 40 million debit and credit card numbers, as well as the personal information of up to 70 million shoppers, and shined a spotlight on the growing problem of cybercrime.