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President Obama, Apple CEO, retailers to speak at Summit on cybersecurity


Washington, D.C. – Assorted advocacy groups and professional associations, including the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Merchant Financial Cyber Partnership, are urging the White House to take steps to improve cybersecurity for retail transactions. The public call comes as President Obama convenes a daylong Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford University on Feb. 13. The summit, which will include a keynote speech by the president, is part of a renewed drive to combat cyber hackers. Panels will focus on boosting collaboration between companies and agencies, improving cybersecurity to protect consumers and better securing payment processing systems.

In an open letter to President Obama, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay requested immediate passage of federal protection for debit cards, similar to what is currently available for credit cards. He also called for U.S. retailers to accept PIN and chip cards, rather than rely on “fraud-prone” signature-based cards, and for all entities in the payment system to adopt point-to-point encryption to protect consumers’ payment information throughout the entire payments chain, adopt open tokenization standards, enact a single national data breach notification law, and pass legislation to aid in the investigation and prosecution of cybercriminals.

“As you convene tomorrow’s Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford University, we support your plans to embrace the role of information-sharing organizations like NRF and pass federal legislation to protect and encourage more private-sector sharing of cyber threat information,” Shay said in the letter.

In addition, the Merchant Financial Cyber Partnership, a collaboration of advocacy groups for retailers, hospitality providers and financial institutions, released a set of principles for protecting the payment system. These include the “five pillars” that card fraud is harmful to all parties, information sharing leads to better consumer experience and increased approval of valid transactions, looking forward to emerging threats, sharing responsibility for transaction security, and focusing on the consumer.

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