Britain’s online businesses are lacking in online security

Tens of thousands of online businesses in the UK who handle credit card details have no internet security measures in place.

A survey by 123 Reg finds that 10 per cent of e-commerce websites have taken online security to keep their customers data safe from hackers.

The poll, which surveyed 13,000 small business owners, finds that one in five e-commerce websites don’t know who handles their website security, 50 per cent state that they are not prepared for an attack and had no recovery plan if one took place.

A security breach can undo years of hard work in a matter of minutes and lead to loss of revenue and the end of a business. According to research by PwC, there were 59.1 million detected security incidents in 2015.

The research reveals that 8 per cent of UK e-commerce websites admitted to being hacked – equivalent to tens of thousands of e-commerce websites, with almost one in ten saying they didn’t know whether they had been hacked or not.

As goods are increasingly purchased online it is more important than ever to protect sensitive credit card data. Last year it was estimated by Get Safe Online and Action Fraud that over £1 billion was lost by British businesses to online crime.

Online security is a complex issue, taking in plenty of factors – that includes the kind of website you have, the passwords you use, and, of course, the reliability of your web site host.

However, being secure is simple and straightforward.

123 Reg calls on all website developers to employ good password practices, install a website security product and keep all software up to date and has put together a free guide here.

Nick Leech, digital director at 123 Reg says, ‘Having an online presence is vital for small businesses, in 2015 e-commerce sales in the UK reached £533 billion, but keeping customers safe requires a team effort. Businesses can easily implement simple, yet crucial, security measures, which can help keep them safe against online attacks.

‘By continuously updating online programmes, regularly changing passwords and installing the latest security products, Britain’s small business owners can stay secure and continue to thrive.’

Tom Serani, executive vice president, business development at Sitelock says, ‘We are seeing an exponential growth in cyber security threats, coinciding with the increased digitisation of businesses. Worryingly, hacker attacks are getting more sophisticated, especially those targeting SMEs, which are generally perceived to be less secure. It is therefore vital that online businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves from any attack.’

Further reading on online security

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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