Leading company Ultracomms, which specialises in card payment solutions, is warning businesses to strengthen security in the wake of one of the UK’s biggest data breaches.

Derwyn Jones, Chief Executive of UK-based Ultracomms, says organisations which process card payment details should act now in order to minimise the risk of financial and reputational damage from a data breach. It comes amid reports that Dixons Carphone could face a fine of up to £400m after a computer hack exposed the payment card information of six million customers.

He said: “The Dixons Carphone data breach will go down as one of the biggest data breaches at a single firm in UK history – and is a stark reminder to all businesses that we live in a new era of cybersecurity.

“It is a time where the hacking threat is unprecedented and no company is seemingly immune. Running parallel to this increasing threat are the most rigorous data protection laws Europe has ever seen. The result spells trouble for any business that does not invest now in robust systems that protect consumer data.”

Research shows that two-thirds of businesses are still using outdated technology to take payments – where card details are read out over the phone – and putting themselves at risk. Derwyn said that damage to reputation was potentially more harmful in the long-run to any business that suffers a serious data breach.

He added: “Any company’s reputation is built on a relationship of trust with their customer base. Once this has been tarnished in such a high-profile way, can it ever be restored? Only time will tell.

“Lessons will need to be learned across the business world from this latest data breach – and particularly those who deal with large volumes of customer card payment information.

“The goalposts have changed – and now it is time for businesses to respond to ensure their systems keep pace with both the law and the increasingly covert tactics of the hackers.

“The good news is that the technology is there for businesses to protect themselves and I would urge all customer-facing organisations to review their processes and invest for the future. Ultimately it will protect their customers – and themselves.”

Ultracomms recently produced a free downloadable guide for businesses that gives step-by-step advice on card fraud protection. Visit www.ultracomms.com/blog/secure-payments-whats-the-fuss-all-about/ to download the guide.

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