Magazine article American Banker

Banks, Retailers Clash over Cybersecurity Measures

Magazine article American Banker

Banks, Retailers Clash over Cybersecurity Measures

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Finkle

WASHINGTON -- Merchant and banking groups are again at odds over cybersecurity policy, sparring over who's to blame for recent data breaches and how lawmakers can ensure greater protections.

A handful of financial groups, including the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and The Clearing House, penned a letter Wednesday to House and Senate leaders firing back against the retailers for their own letter to Congress last week.

The banking groups charge that the retailers' missive was "inaccurate and misleading," warning that their policy recommendations fail to improve oversight within the retail community.

The two industries have pointed fingers at each other since a high-profile data breach at Target came to light last winter. Retailers have repeatedly called for chip and PIN technology to be added to credit cards, though the technology would not have stopped the Target attack or the many other breaches at retailers and banks alike.

"[T]he failure of the payment cards themselves to be secured by anything more sophisticated than an easily-forged signature makes the card numbers particularly attractive to criminals and the cards themselves vulnerable to fraudulent misuse," said the National Retail Federation and several dozen other retail groups in their Nov. 6 letter. "Better security at the source of the problem is needed. The protection of American's sensitive financial information is not an issue on which sacrificing comprehensiveness makes any sense at all. …

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