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Retailers advance cyber crime agenda with key hire


The retail industry’s data security efforts were upgraded week when the Retail Industry Leaders Association named the former Texas chief information security officer to lead the trade group’s new intelligence sharing organization.

RILA said Brian Engle would serve as executive director of the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) and be responsible for managing the organization’s daily affairs.

The R-CISC was created last May to more effectively share information among key stakeholders – retailers who are the target of breaches and law enforcement agencies tasked with thwarting cybercriminals – as the timely exchange of information is viewed as a key means of combatting cyber crime.

Engle will serve as the central point of coordination and communication for the Center’s Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) which is sharing real-time threat information, threat indicators, indicators of compromise, vulnerability/threat activity, and other actionable intelligence to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks on retailers and their customers, according to a RILA statement.

Engle will also oversee the education and training segments of the Center and a research arm through partnerships with leading academic institutions and other organizations to provide the industry with insight on emerging technologies and potential new threats.

As the R-CISC’s Executive Director, Engle will actively engage private sector stakeholders and government agencies to facilitate information sharing and strengthen the retail industry's capability and capacity to mitigate risk from cyber attacks. The addition of Engle to the R-CISC is seen as a coup given his background as the chief information security officer with the state of Texas.

In that role he advised the executive leadership of nearly 200 independent state agencies and higher education organizations on protecting information resources for the state of Texas. Engle served as a policy-making official responsible for statewide cybersecurity strategies, as well as the oversight of the delivery of the enterprise security program, operations and services.

“In less than one year the R-CISC has made tremendous progress and become a critical resource for retailers, I look forward to continuing this momentum. The truth is, no industry, institution or government agency is immune from attack, and the retail industry faces unique challenges in protecting its systems and customer information from data breaches, point of sale attacks and malware,” Engle said. “I am excited to build partnerships and help facilitate the secure sharing of vetted, actionable, and timely cyber threat information through this critical tool.”

Prior to serving as the CISO for the State of Texas, Engle was the CISO for the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Previous information security roles include CISO for Temple-Inland, Manager of Information Security Assurance for Guaranty Bank, and Senior Information Security Analyst for Silicon Laboratories. He is a past president and lifetime member of the board of directors of the Information Systems Security Association Capitol of Texas Chapter, is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and has been recognized as a CISSP and CISA.

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