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NRF VP Tom Litchford to represent retailers at event hosted by NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — National Retail Federation Vice President of Retail Technology Tom Litchford will represent retailers at an event hosted by the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focusing on trends and challenges to improving cybersecurity in the retail industry. Cybersecurity in Retail: Trends and Challenges with Point of Sale and Payment Technologies will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Maryland’s campus in Rockville. NIST is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Cybersecurity is a perpetual game of high-stakes leapfrog for retailers, but it is a challenge they are tackling head-on,” said Tom Litchford, vice president of retail technology with NRF. “Protecting customer relationships is the highest priority for retailers. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated in their attacks, legitimate businesses and the government must work together more closely to defend against threats. I’m pleased to lend the voice of NRF’s members to this discussion and hope it leads to even greater collaboration to improve data security.”

“As the national lab for cybersecurity, we are focused on accelerating the adoption of secure technologies within U.S. businesses, and it is clear that the retail industry is committed to doing so as well,” said Nate Lesser, deputy director with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. “We look forward to collaborating with the NRF and its members to ensure that our work is relevant and useful to retailers and can help them improve their security and better protect consumer information.”

NRF has launched a proactive and sustained campaign to combat consumer data theft and fraud, identify solutions and protect retail customers. For years, NRF has called for chip-and-PIN cards, which store customer data on a computer microchip and require use of a secret number rather than a fraud-prone signature to approve a transaction.

Beyond chip-and-PIN, NRF is seeking passage of federal legislation making it easier to share information about cyber crimes in order to learn how to better secure retailers’ systems.

NRF also promotes information sharing in the retail community with its IT Security Council, which boasts nearly 200 participating chief information security officers from across the retail industry. The Council oversees NRF’s Cybersecurity Threat Alert System which provides timely, actionable notification to member companies about critical security threats facing the retail industry. The IT Security Council also provides a forum for members to collaborate and exchange information, develop and share industry best practices for an effective data security plan, and be a united voice in educating lawmakers about what is needed to combat cybercrime, data theft, and the resulting fraud.

ABOUT TOM. Tom Litchford is vice president of retail technology at the National Retail Federation. In this role, he leads and manages NRF’s Technology Leadership Community including the exclusive, invite-only CIO Council and the IT Security Council. He also oversees NRF’s Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). Litchford is responsible for developing and enhancing strategic programs, activities and relationships with retail and technology communities domestically and internationally.

Litchford has more than 30 years of experience in systems engineering, sales, product management and marketing of technology business solutions for the retail and hospitality industries. Prior to assuming his current position with NRF in July 2012, he held key Microsoft positions in industry sales, marketing and channel management. Before joining Microsoft in 1998, he was director of business impact modeling for NCR’s Retail Solutions Group where his team developed comprehensive return on investment (ROI) models.  Read more about Tom, including articles he has written about retail technology.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

Robin Roberts
(855) NRF-Press

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