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Cyber security warning for health and beauty businesses

By Karolina Skinner
21 July 2021

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East is urging businesses within the health and beauty industry to be extra vigilant and to take action to help secure their businesses from cyber criminals who are looking for opportunities to strike. Since January 2020, the average annual cost for businesses that lost data or assets after a cyber-attack was £8,460.

The number of virus and ransomware victims is on the increase so there is no better time to check your security and back-up procedures. If your health and beauty business fell victim to a cyber-attack, would you know what to do or even how to identify an attack?

In June 2020, cosmetics and personal care company, Avon was hit by a cyber-attack that disrupted online ordering services and back-end systems in the UK and across Europe. The Avon website was offline for several weeks, the customer service centre had to close, and the firm was unable to respond to customer emails.

Chris White, serving detective inspector and head of cyber and innovation at the Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East, said: "Unfortunately, with 39% of businesses suffering a cyber-attack in the last 12 months, cyber-attacks are now a matter of when rather than if.

"Every day we are seeing cyber-attacks of varying levels, but many are preventable with the implementation of some basic cyber hygiene practices."

To help your business strengthen its cyber resilience and avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, one can follow and adopt these basic practices outlined in the Small Business Guide from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The guide sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security. 

The five recommended areas of focus are: 

  1. Backing up your data: Top tips include keeping a back-up of data separate, reading Cloud Security guidance and backing up regularly. 
  2. Protecting from malware: Top tips include switching on firewalls, preventing staff downloading dodgy apps and controlling how USBs can be used. 
  3. Keeping your smartphones (and tablets) safe: Top tips include making sure devices can be wiped remotely, not connecting to unknown Wi-Fi networks and keeping device software up to date. 
  4. Using passwords to protect your data: Top tips include avoiding predictable passwords, using two-factor authentication and changing default passwords. 
  5. Avoid phishing attacks: Top tips include checking for obvious signs of phishing, reporting all attacks and testing resilience using our Exercise in a Box tool.

About The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East 

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East is part of the national roll out of Cyber Resilience Centres in the UK which began in 2019. The SECRC began its journey in June 2020. Lead by Policing, and facilitated by Business Resilience International Management (BRIM), it has followed a structured modular programme based on a highly successful model that had previously been established for over 9 years in Scotland.

The SECRC works in structured partnership with regional policing, academia, businesses, third and public sector organisations through a variety of ways.