Do you know where your card details are?

The cyber security conundrum which has appeared time and time again shows no signs of abating in 2016, forcing companies of all sizes to take a cold hard look and their security systems, or rather, their inadequacies.

As the technology advances, so does the crime, exposing outdated software and systems that simply cannot stand up against the sophisticated tactics employed by “black hat hackers”, but the 74% of small businesses who reported a breach in the past 12 months are facing up to the reality that their defences are making attacks all too easy.

With personal data on the line, including banks details, and heavier penalties for personal data in the UK, cyber security is a problem for everyone, and needs to be addressed as such.

Talk Talk discovered this in October, with the personal details of 157,000 customers being exposed, including 15,000 account numbers and 28 obscured credit and debit card numbers.

In June, the details of 656,723 Wetherspoon customers were accessed via an old database, a breach which was only discovered recently. Those who had bought vouchers online found that their card details were also exposed, although the company assured its customers that as only the last four digits of the customer card number was stored, these didn’t pose a fraud risk.

The absence of concrete bank details doesn’t take away the financial risk however. Using other personal data of the customers, such as name, address and email, hackers are able to gain access to bank details through social engineering, a method where they might pose as a legitimate source, as was the case for some in the Talk Talk breach. Through this façade, they are sometimes able to then acquire that customers card details.

In and amongst 11 cyber trends for 2016, Information Age predicts a rise in attacks on payment card data through phishing emails and social engineering. See our previous article which explains different strategies used by cyber criminals.

2016 will be the year for everyone to reconsider their stance online, whether they are a business or individual, and look into how private their information is, and how they can make it more secure. As long as there is money to be made through cyber crime and a wall of secrecy to hide behind, the risk will be there.

What can you do as an individual 

Stay safe online – Use a credit card if you have one, as your provider should accept responsibility and reimburse you for any money lost online.

Check your password – Cyber criminals are becoming highly adept at breaking passwords, so if you are using one on a shopping site, make it memorable, but make it strong.

Card details – Opt for filling out your card details each time you log on, instead of allowing the website to remember them.

What you can do as a company

Remember that even if your customers account detail are safe, there are other way to obtain these. If any of your customers raise concerns or you have them yourself, alert your customers and remind them never to divulge their account details.

To learn more about the benefits of Cyber Insurance Policy to you or your business, talk to the team at C&M by calling 01708 764 000, or emailing us at