The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) recently surveyed its members and over half of them (56%) revealed that they had been targeted by cyber criminals. Many of those had suffered financial loss as a result of successful attacks.
As a salon or barbershop owner, you may not think that your business is of interest to cyber criminals as your business is too small, but small businesses are a target for cyber criminals as they see SME’s as easier targets. Therefore, it’s critical that you remain vigilant to help protect your business and customers.
Of the members that the NHBF surveys, 80% of the most common cyber attacks and breaches were via fraudulent emails. A fraudulent email is where a cyber criminal will attempt to coax staff into revealing passwords or financial information or opening dangerous attachments.
The survey also identified that other common breaches included cybercriminals impersonating the organisation online, or infecting computer systems with malware and viruses.
A cyberattack has the potential to damage, destroy or breach your salon/barbershop computer system. Many cyber criminals will do this for financial gain via a ransom fee or to sell on personal data such as customer details, to commit fraud for financial gain.
This is exactly what happened to one hairdressing salon in the UK, the salon fell victim to a malicious online cyber attack where the hackers stole the salon’s entire appointment data and that included all their client appointments for the rest of the year.
The salon had no idea which clients are booked in for what services on what date. With an average of 100 to 150 clients a day, the salon found their clients arriving and they had no appointment data to refer to. With their systems being offline, they were also unable contact their clients as the hackers had taken all their contact details.
The hackers then demanded a ransom of £1,600 worth of bitcoins for the return of the data which the salon paid. Overall, the attack had cost the business thousands of pounds.
How can I help keep my salon or barbershop out of harm’s way?
There are several simple steps you can take today, to help keep your business out of the hands of cyber criminals.
We have created a cyber security checklist for your beauty salon, hairdressers or barbershop so that you can easily follow some basic cyber hygiene steps.
You can view or download our checklist here.
The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is non-for-profit and is Policing-led. We provide a range of affordable cyber resilience services with the very current knowledge and technical expertise from the UK's top university cyber talent. Our services help SMEs and therefore supply chain prepare and improve cyber resilience.
Sign up for FREE membership here.