Beauty businesses hit by online fraudsters

Beauty businesses were the target of more than 5% of all UK data breaches in 2014, with each breach taking place over an average of 148 days.

The study was based on card data breaches that occurred to customers of payment-processing company Worldpay between 2011 and 2014.

Beauty businesses were among the hardest hit, when taking into account the size of the sector. By comparison, the food and grocery sector accounted for 7% of breaches and jewellery and gifts for 6.6%.

Worldpay head of payment security Tim Lansdale warned small businesses to be on their guard due to an “unprecedented level of attempted fraud”, adding that the cleanup after being targeted starts with a standard investigation costing £11,250.

To reduce the risk of fraud, Worldpay advised beauty businesses to test firewalls every three months, destroy card data records when no longer needed and avoid storing the three digit ‘CVC’ number from the back of cards.