06 Nov Is a Lack of Website Security Putting Your Company at Risk?
“It will never happen to me,” say most small business owners. Hackers only go after billion-dollar companies and government agencies, right? Wrong. The 2017 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report found that 54 percent of all small businesses had suffered a data breach within the past 12 months.
Today’s highly sophisticated hackers use automated bots to search for vulnerabilities and then carry out attacks on the same day. Small businesses represent the path of least resistance because security is often neglected. Once a breach occurs, the news only gets worse.
When you factor in lost revenue due to downtime and the expense of investigating incidents, notifying those affected, and addressing security vulnerabilities, the average cost of a breach is $117,000 for small and medium-sized businesses, according to a Kaspersky Lab report. In addition to the high financial cost, reputations are often destroyed. In fact, research from the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a data breach.
Instead of assuming it won’t happen, the safer bet is to assume you will be attacked and plan accordingly. Start by securing your most valuable online asset – the company website. Here are some of the steps Elwood Studio takes to protect small business websites.
Secure the Hosting Server
Small business website security begins at the server level. Hosting plans are complicated, with a wide range of vendors, services and pricing. We match each client with the appropriate hosting server, making sure it’s properly maintained and running the most current software supported by security updates.
This is a best practice for small business website security, even if you don’t handle sensitive information. HTTPS uses encryption to ensure secure communication between your website and the user’s web browser. HTTPS is so important that Google’s Chrome browser will display a “Not Secure” warning for websites that don’t use HTTPS, which can also affect your search ranking. Although it was once a complicated and costly process, implementing HTTPS can now be done relatively easily.
Securely Test and Update Software and Plugins
If you don’t keep your website software and plugins up to date, you may miss out on security patches that protect you from the latest threats. But you need to do more than click “download” or “update.” Elwood Studio securely tests all software updates and plugins in a development or staging environment to make sure they work properly before installing them on your live website.
Use a Software Firewall
A software firewall, such as Wordfence for WordPress websites, keeps malware and unauthorized users out of your website. For example, it blocks hackers from trying to log in to your website after a certain number of failed attempts. It filters traffic to your website based on the latest threat intelligence to detect viruses and suspicious activity. It also alerts you to attempted hacks. Needless to say, a software firewall is an essential website security tool.
Back Up Your Website to a Third-Party Service
Many hosting companies back up a website to the same hosting server, so if the hosting server goes down, neither the website nor the backup can be accessed. We back up websites to the Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) cloud platform. If anything happens to your hosting server, we can access our backup copy and restore your website on a new server.
Wouldn’t you rather focus on running and growing your small business, and let us take care of protecting your website? Contact us to learn more about how Elwood Studio reduces the risk of a costly data breach.