PCI Security Standards Council welcomes Obama summit

Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council applauds US president’s Silicon Valley summit on tackling cyber crime

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has applauded US president Barack Obama’s one-day summit meeting in Silicon Valley on tackling cyber crime.

The 13 February meeting at Stanford University in California will bring together academics, privacy campaigners, law enforcement officers and industry leaders, especially in the technology, retail and communications sectors.

“This productive discussion kicks off a year that will be the most transformative year in our industry’s history,” said Stephen Orfei, general manager at PCI SSC.

“The summit has enabled an unprecedented gathering together of organisations like PCI and others in the data security world to tackle this ever-growing global threat.

“Leaving here today we should all be challenged to come up with new and creative ways to stop the bad guys. We look forward to participating in and leading that discussion,” he said.

The summit comes at a time of record cyber attacks from sources all around the world, which is driving concerns about the global economic impact of cyber crime – estimated to be around $445bn a year.

The cost to the US economy is estimated at $100bn a year, with the average data breach believed to cost organisations around $3.5m.

According to the latest Breach Level Index report, the retail sector’s share of all data records compromised in 2014 increased to 55%, from 29% in 2013, due to an increased number of attacks targeting point-of-sale systems.

The PCI Security Standards Council, which administers the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), said the future of the economy is at stake.

“We simply must change the casual mindset that too many organisations have when it comes to data security protection,” said Orfei.

“The guiding principle of making cyber security a 24/7 priority can serve as an example for both the public and private sectors, and highlights the need for a multi-layered approach to data security,” he said.

According to Orfei, vigilance remains critical, and only a combination of people, processes and technology, and a focus on making security a business-as-usual practice, will help thwart cyber threats.

“A collaborative and vigilant effort between government and the private sector is the only way forward. We welcome more information sharing, stronger law enforcement and believe global alliances and partnerships between the private and public sectors is the best path to creating cyber security in the 21st century,” he said.

President Obama reportedly plans to call on technology firms to share more information with law enforcement agencies and closer collaboration with security services.

The meeting is also expected to look at ways of protecting consumers online in the wake of a series of major data breaches at US retailers, US healthcare firms and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Obama is due to address the meeting at 7.15pm UK time, reports the BBC.

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