BCS was asked to comment after The Works shut some shops temporarily and suspended new stock deliveries following a cyber-attack.

The stationery and books retailer said five of its 526 shops were closed after hackers accessed its systems and disrupting the functioning of the tills.

The company said that no shoppers' payment details had been compromised, although customers had to wait longer for online orders.

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Steve Sands, Chair - Information Security specialist group at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT provided insight on the event for a range of media including MailOnline.

He said: ‘It’s fairly likely that the attack on The Works wasn’t targeted directly against them.

'Targeted attacks tend to be limited to organisations which either have very deep pockets or provide a critical service.

'It’s more likely that this was opportunist, perhaps as a result of a user clicking a link or opening an attachment that contained a piece of malware.

'This is perhaps backed up by the fact that they haven’t yet received a ransom demand.’