Most small business owners don’t realize how vulnerable their website is to being hacked and/or attacked. We’re seeing more business websites infected each month with malware, malicious code and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. These myriad attacks take websites offline, can leave them infected, and as a result, those website are at risk of being blacklisted or even suspended from Google. Obviously, for the small business owner, website security is a serious issue that gets more serious every day.
On the Rise
Attacks on small business websites are increasing in frequency and ferocity. Fueled by cheap technology and worldwide innovation, and then carried out by hackers, governments, competitors and even terrorists and their misguided supporters, cyber security now impacts our websites, email, mobile devices and soon, even our cars.
Take a closer look at how the term “cyber attacks” has trended over the last several years…
When your website is under attack or if its already been hacked, it could be knocked offline and your business inaccessible to anyone looking for it. Or your website could be serving malicious links and code, in which case you may be penalized by Google, not a fate you want to tempt. Also, once a website is infected the domain name (the “.com” address of the website) could be blacklisted, rendering email unable to be sent and triggering warnings for people attempting to your website before they every get there. Scary indeed.
Waiting to be hacked or attacked is asking for trouble. A proactive approach is the best way to protect yourself and help ensure business continuity. An aggressive, multi-pronged approach includes a website firewall, daily website scanning and instant clean-up / removal of any malicious files. Keeping your website’s content management system and any related plug-ins or supporting software up-to-date will also ensure that potential security holes are closed before they can be exploited.
The best idea for your business is to proactively protect yourself and automate daily monitoring of your website. Don’t wait for something to happen such as getting knocked offline or having your site infected, and then try clean it all up. Not only will the work be harder and more expensive, you’ll likely have to recover from a Google penalty and completely rebuild your search engine optimization efforts from scratch, and that’s only after figuring out how to bring your website back online