Website security – Why is it essential?
Have you ever come across a website that you just didn’t trust? Maybe you didn’t feel safe using your card on the website or maybe you just didn’t want to share your contact details for fear of what could be done with them. What if your customers felt this way about your business website?
In the last year businesses have become more reliant on their websites than ever before and with the ‘new normal’ this is unlikely to change. However with this increase in business conducted online so too has the amount of cyber security attacks and hacked websites which for many can be fatal for their business reputation and ability to operate.
“Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world” – IBM’s President and CEO
So what are the actual risks of having a hacked website? Here are just a few:
1. Inability to conduct business
If you run any kind of e-commerce business or if any of your clients find you online then a hacked website could eliminate your ability to do business in this way. Hackers often destroy websites or lock you out and demand a large fee for re-entry. Imagine coming to your brick and mortar place of business one day to find out that it had been demolished or someone had locked you out. That’s the threat you face by having insufficient website security.
A lot of hackers simply want control of your hosting resources to serve up their own dodgy websites selling designer products, Viagra or to run a phishing scam. Once your hosting is associated with this type of a website, your hosting provider will block your account and access to your website as they have to protect themselves and the other customers who rely on their hosting services. This is similar to you turning up at your store one morning to find that the store has been taken over by squatters and that they are now selling all sorts of illegal stuff, effectively in your name because you own the lease on the building.
2. A costly rebuild process
Websites are not always cheap and the last thing you want is to pay to rebuild your website. Not only this but you may sometimes need to pay a security expert to properly clean a website of any malware that was left behind and many of these professionals charge up to €250 p/h. Considering that a strong level of security can be achieved cheaply or almost for free and the potential loss is so large, this should be as simple a decision as deciding to insure your brand-new car.
3. Your customers’ data, GDPR, and reputational damage
If your website is hacked within the EU and your customers’ data is compromised you legally have to inform all your customers of what happened. Furthermore, you have to show that you took all possible steps to safeguard their data and to provide details of the breach. Think how that might look… how will your customers feel when they trust you with their data but your website or e-commerce platform then gets compromised? They will be less likely to give you that data, their car details, and their business ever again. Not only that but you could risk some steep GDPR fines.
4. Your Google Rankings
If your website is hacked or deemed to be insecure by Google, you risk losing a higher position in Google rankings or being blacklisted altogether. Any businesses that have paid for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) services will know that these are not cheap and if your website is deemed insecure you also risk wasting that investment too. However, for a small investment in your website security, you could avoid this and protect your business.
How to protect against security issues?
Luckily most of these risks are easily avoidable with some basic security features. If you would like to know more we will be writing an article on how to secure your website soon so subscribe to be notified when this is. Alternatively, if you want a quick, easy, and cost-effective solution, Xava offers a monthly website management plan in which we take care of all of your security and more for you, giving you peace of mind.
Get in contact with us today if you have any further questions.