Scottish Hairdressing Company Suffers Data Breach

Scottish hairdressing firm, Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty, have warned other businesses about the threat of a data breach after they fell victim to an attack and were forced to pay a ransom to the cyber criminals behind it. This breach is just one of the many that demonstrates that companies of all sizes and nature are a target, and thus cyber security is something we all need to be concerned about.


Last month, hackers locked the hairdressing company’s database, and they threatened to erase all data. They declared that they would only restore the company’s data if Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty paid them 1,000 euros. The company paid the money in Bitcoins via a third party because they could not risk losing any business.

The commercial director of Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty, Ken Main, has revealed that since paying the ransom the company have got a portion of their information back. However, all bookings have been lost, as the appointments system was wiped. Thus, the company have had to appeal to customers via their Facebook page to get back in touch to confirm their bookings.

So, how did the breach happen? Well, the intricacies of it all are still unknown, as the incident is under investigation. However, their software that was used to stock information, client histories, wage details, and store appointments was targeted and broken into. Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty have revealed that a Russian email address was used.

Unfortunately, this case is just one of many. However, cyber crime is still largely unreported, especially in relation to small businesses. This is because business owners do not want to admit that they have suffered a breach out of fear that they could lose their customers.

You won’t find yourself in this position if you put adequate security measures in place. The breach that was suffered by Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty is something that could have been avoided with our RetailCompli product. While customer cardholder information was not stolen, this breach is device related, and our strong and sophisticated firewall would have stopped the hacker gaining access to the software in question.

As they say, prevention is the best form of defence, and this is certainly the case when it comes to cyber security issues. If you are not taking the necessary measures to secure your business, a ransom payment could be the least of your worries. If cardholder data is stolen, you are also looking at non-compliance fines, and that is without even mentioning compensation costs, reputational damage, and such like.

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