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RILA details retailers' actions on data security


The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) spoke out in Washington, D.C., this week on the steps retailers are taking to protect against data breaches.

Brian Dodge, executive VP, communications & strategic initiatives at RILA, testified at the House Financial Services Committee hearing, “Protecting Consumers: Financial Data Security in the Age of Computer Hackers,” Thursday, May 14.

In his testimony, Dodge outlined the major steps taken by the retail community to enhance cybersecurity throughout the industry, including an investment of more than $8 billion to upgrade payment terminals to accept more secure chip-based credit cards. Dodge also urged banks to issue Chip-and-PIN credit cards instead of the less secure Chip-and-Signature cards, which lack the two-factor authentication protection that has reduced fraud in Europe and Canada.

While highlighting current efforts on the part of the retail industry to combat cyber-attacks and share threat information, Dodge also voiced support for federal data breach legislation that clears up regulatory confusion to better protect and notify consumers in the event of a successful attack.

“One area of security that needs immediate attention is payment card technology,” said Dodge in his testimony. “RILA members have long supported the adoption of stronger debit and credit card security protections. The woefully outdated magnetic stripe technology used on cards today is the chief vulnerability in the payments ecosystem. This 1960s era technology allows cyber criminals to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud with ease.

“Retailers continue to press banks and card networks to provide U.S. consumers with the same Chip-and-PIN technology that has proven to dramatically reduce fraud when it has been deployed elsewhere around the world,” concluded Dodge.

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