For small business owners, a website opens the door to an enormous market of potential customers. But it can also expose you to hacks, viruses and unwanted infiltrations if you don’t have the right website security.
If your website is hacked or invaded by a virus, your entire business could be in jeopardy. Not only could use lose productivity and revenue, but your business’ reputation and brand could be tarnished, depending on the severity of the breach. This takes a toll on your IT department as well, as it must find the breach, find a way to resolve the issue and then update the company’s firewalls and online regulations.
Not only would your business’ infrastructure be compromised, your employees’ as well as your customers’ digital platforms could be affected. The breach could affect a business’ entire BYOD system, making every device a carrier of the virus, and it all can start from your website.
It used to be that hackers and viruses made their way into a business’ infrastructure through emails carrying malicious code. Nowadays, websites are the targets, with as many as 30,000 websites unknowingly passing malicious code onto online visitors daily, Forbes reported. Small business websites are prime targets for a number of reasons, notes Executionists.com:
- Small businesses on shared servers offers additional points of access for hackers.
- Hackers know small businesses may have limited IT departments, where hardware and software aren’t updated as often as bigger companies.
- A small business’ website version and plug-ins may not be up-to-date
- Many small businesses don’t have strong internal security measures, thus passwords and secured accesses are more vulnerable
- Common, open-source frameworks are what small business websites are usually built on. These frameworks share weaknesses that hackers know, and because they are so popular, hackers have a bevy of sites to target
Build a Better Defense
If you’re a small business, budgeting for more security for your website is always cumbersome. But one solution to better protect your website is to rely on a hosted web service, not just a hosting provider, to be your security blanket. Services like WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and CopyPress can help a small business with administrative tasks for web-related security.
Additional steps should be taken, starting with strengthening your administrative access passcodes. It’s also vital to train your employees on basic security principles and establish security guidelines with them and, if your business offers a BYOD system, be sure your employees’ devices are equipped with software security, as well. Enable the business’ operating system’s firewall and make sure employees working from home and accessing the company’s network have enabled firewalls on their systems, as well.
Another important step is to have backup security for important data from your website. This should be backed up on a regular basis, either through offsite storage or in the cloud. Also, ensure your Wi-Fi network for the workplace is secure, encrypted and hidden. You can hide your Wi-Fi network by setting up a wireless access point or router so it doesn’t broadcast the network name, or SSID (Service Set Identifier). Setting a protected password for router access is a must and it is a good idea to change passwords every three months. Adding multi-factor authentication to your security system that asks for more information than just a password would step up your security, as well.