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Retailers were among the hardest hit and most talked about victims of cyber crime in 2013. Now they are doing their best to fight back.

Just yesterday, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and key retailers from around the country launched the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center, otherwise known as R-CISC. The center is an independent organization whose key feature is a “Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center,” which is designed to do exactly what its name suggests.

According to RILA, the center will allow retailers to share cyber threat information both among themselves and with others, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will also provide training, education and research resources for retailers.

A release from RILA quoted officials from U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, who shared their support for the center’s mission. Phyllis Schneck, Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS, noted that her organization continues to work closely with the private sector to create awareness of cyber security vulnerabilities, and this center will help that effort.

“The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center will further enhance DHS’s collaboration with this important sector of the American economy and will provide information and resources that can help companies keep their networks and the consumer information stored on them safe and secure,” she said.

The center was developed with input from more than 50 major retailers as well as law enforcement, government agencies and others. Companies supporting the initiative include such big names as Gap, J. C. Penney, Lowe’s, Nike, Safeway, Target and Walgreens.

For more on the center, go to its official website: Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center