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Retailers and banks band together

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

After tossing blame at each other last week in front of Congress, merchants and banks are now working together to fight fraud.

Industry trade groups representing retailers, restaurants, hotels and banks said last week that they are forming a partnership to explore solutions that better protect consumer information from hackers. The trade associations will form working groups to address three principles:

  • Finding ways to share consumer information in the most secure manner possible.
  • Identifying technologies that reduce risk to cyberattacks.
  • Create partnerships among all parties involved in the payment process to combat security threats.

The news of the collaboration comes after the same trade groups pointed fingers at each other last week while testifying before the Senate on data security. The retailers blamed security holes on banks' unwillingness to issue more secure credit cards, while the banks said retailers should bear the burden of breach costs if it happens on their systems.

The interest in cybersecurity comes after a rash of data breaches from retailers and hotels in the past three months. The largest breach occurred at Target over the holidays and compromised 40 million debit card and credit card accounts and personal data of up to 70 million people. Neiman Marcus, Michaels and White Lodging -- which manages several major hotel chains -- disclosed that they had suffered breaches of their own recently, too, albeit on a smaller scale.

Have you been a victim of one of these breaches? What do you think should be done to improve data security?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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1 Comment
Leslie Olsen
February 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Community & Southern Bank (Georgia) has apparently gone out of its way to reduce data security.

I have just received a note from Mark Abernathy, President, that they have allowed an employee to take customer data home on a laptop ...which was stolen. Mr. Abernathy is now concerned his customer's data may be at risk!

What do I think should be done? Personally, I think the man should lose his bank if he was the least bit aware data was leaving the bank on a laptop!

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