Many convenience store owners are unaware of the risks to their businesses from cyber attacks, according to Nick Hutchins, business development manager at Electromech.

The company started work installing a cyber security system known as LuJam in UK independent retailers last month, with approximately six shop owners signed up. Hutchins said: “Understandably, a lot of stores focus on combatting the threat of physical theft and threats in store, and cyber security can be forgotten until after it was needed.”

He added that EPoS systems and other networked devices such as scanners, phones and computers are “very vulnerable”. The business development manager also warned that one in three small businesses are likely to have their systems breached next year, with ransomware – where businesses are asked to pay to take back control of their systems or data being one of the most common cyber attacks. “As more shops add Wi-Fi, and even open this up for customers to use, it becomes possible for criminals to exploit this and target connected devices with malware,” he said.

LuJam was endorsed by UK cyber defence agency GCHQ for helping to protect small- and medium-sized businesses and meeting it’s required standards. A device is plugged into the store’s network and blocks suspicious activity. Hutchins said there is a one-off installation fee of approximately £100, and a £30-40 monthly fee based on a store with five members of staff.