September 30, 2014

NAFCU asks Congress to set data security working group

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger on Tuesday urged congressional leaders to create a bipartisan-bicameral working group to develop legislative responses to retailer data security breaches, which continue to multiply in the absence of any national data security standards for retailers.

Berger said the recent Home Depot data breach makes this an optimal time to create such a working group. The working group must be charged with developing a list of legislative recommendations to address the epidemic of breaches, he urged.

"Credit unions are on the front lines assisting their members in the wake of ongoing data breaches and have a unique understanding of how detrimental such data breaches can be to consumers and small financial service providers," Berger wrote. He said data breaches in both the private and public sectors can "cause irreparable harm to consumers everywhere."

The House and Senate are in a pre-election recess and are scheduled to return Nov. 12.

NAFCU was the first financial trade association to push for legislators to pass national data security standards for retailers in the wake of the massive Target breach last year. National data security and breach notification standards for retailers are a key element of NAFCU's five-point plan for credit union regulatory relief.

In related news, the supermarket chain Supervalu has announced a second data breach, which may have affected card transactions from stores in 21 states, according to Data Breach Today. The earlier breach, announced in August, affected as many as 180 stores.

Berger on Friday wrote President Obama to urge his support for national data security and breach notification standards for retailers. Today also marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Awareness Month – sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.