Why You Need Website Security
Most people think their website isn't going to be attacked because it is just a small business but, these are the websites that get hit the most. A 2016 report found that over 50 percent of all cyber attacks targeted small businesses.
A small website that is left unattended has many vulnerabilities that a hacker can use to try out new tools and techniques. Hackers often use automated tools to find vulnerable websites and don't discriminate when it comes to the size of the target. Automated web attacks that fly under the radar are damaging businesses on a large scale and some bots are dangerously adept at operating under the guise of a legitimate user. The good news is that there’s an increasing number of security services to help protect websites from those automated scripts.
Small and mid-sized businesses often lack the resources to properly safeguard their systems from attacks. Cyber security can be a major investment, and some entrepreneurs would rather take the risk and leave their systems unprotected.
Malware stands for malicious software, which encompasses a wide range of potential threats to your business website, including:
- Trojan horses
The most common reason for these attacks is usually to gain money by stealing data that can be sold or ransomed, including your customers’ personal information and payment details. Hackers can also bring your system offline or damage both your software and hardware — then they ask for money to bring your system back online, remove the virus or return the sensitive information.
These threats can be launched in many different ways. Most commonly, you might receive a suspicious email with a link to a website masquerading as a familiar company or one of your service providers. If you click on the link, you might accidentally give a virus permission to infect your computer.
Remember, just because you can’t see an attack, it doesn't mean it isn’t happening!
Potential Risks To Your Business
There are many ways malware can negatively affect your business; at worst, malware can take your company’s website offline, bringing your online business to a standstill.
It can add strange icons or pop-up windows on your website or while you’re browsing the internet. Your site could take longer to load or respond which will lower your website’s search rankings as Google won’t feature websites that are offline.
You can lose valuable information you hold about your clients and customers including all the private internal data that your company has collected over the years. As a business owner, it’s your job to protect your clients' information. If any of the information you control is stolen or leaked to the public, not only will you lose business by losing the trust of your customers; your business will also have a more difficult time attracting new customers because your company’s reputation will be tarnished.
Depending on the size and nature of your company, these kinds of incidents can also lead to lawsuits and government inquiries into what went wrong, which means a lot of negative press and possibly some costly legal fees for your business.
Certain forms of malware can also damage physical devices like mobile phones, tablets, computers, laptops and hard drives. If one of these programs makes its way onto your device, the entire system could be corrupted. This could lead to dire consequences such as:
- Your website going offline.
- Being unable to communicate with your consumers.
- The loss of valuable data and information.
Clearly, malware is a concern for all businesses, large and small.