Small businesses 'at highest risk of card hacking'

Small businesses are at the highest risk of customer data hacks, according to new research.

Figures from payment provider Worldpay suggest that 61 per cent of businesses in which customer card data was hacked during 2013 were small firms. In total, businesses have paid £878,000 for fraud investigations and repair over the last three years.

According to Worldpay the number of credit and debit cards at risk from security breaches in the UK grew from less than 200,000 in 2012 to more than 3 million in 2013 – an increase of 1518 per cent.

The survey suggests that businesses in the electrical, hardware, and automotive industries have suffered more breaches than any others.

Worldpay managing director Dave Hobday said: “Card payments and online purchases are becoming the norm as we move towards a cashless society, but with this comes an increasing degree of risk.

“While most large companies are strengthening their safety measures, there’s only been a marginal improvement amongst small businesses.

“Fraudsters go after low-hanging fruit. Small businesses are easy prey, so it’s a real worry that so many small businesses don’t see the value in compliance. If we want to see genuine change, it’s important we support small business owners.”

Read more about digital security for small businesses.