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After retailer breaches, SEC plans roundtable on cybersecurity

The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hangs on the wall at SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan
The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hangs on the wall at SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that it plans to hold a roundtable next month to discuss cybersecurity, after massive retailer breaches refocused the attention of the business community and policymakers on the area.

The SEC said that it would hold the event on March 26 to talk about the challenges cyber threats pose for market participants and public companies.

Recent breaches at Target Corp and Neiman Marcus have sparked concern from lawmakers and revived a long-running spat among retailers and banks over who should bear the cost of consumer losses and technology investments to improve security.

On Thursday, trade groups for the two industries announced they are forming a partnership to work through the disputes.

U.S. lawmakers have also considered weighing in on how consumers should be notified of data theft. But progress on legislation is not guaranteed in a busy election year.

The SEC in 2011 drafted informal staff-level guidance for public companies to use when considering whether to disclose cyber attacks and their impact on a company's financial condition.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White last year told Congress that her agency was reviewing whether a more robust disclosure process is needed. But she told reporters last fall she felt the guidance appeared to be working well and that she didn't see an immediate need to create a rule that mandates public reporting on cyber attacks.

(Reporting by Karey Van Hall; Editing by Amanda Kwan)

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