Why do most companies not have security?
Lack of awareness of the risks and consequences, and the belief especially amongst small business owners that they’re too small to be noticed by hackers. They’re not aware that most hackers use automated tools to find vulnerable sites. Most small business owners are too busy to think about security in any depth. While they’re often aware generally of security issues, they often don’t connect those threats with their own business. So they don’t set aside the time and resources need to make sure even the most basic website security precautions are followed.
Your website is your brand, your storefront, and often your first contact with customers. If it’s not safe and secure, those critical business relationships can be compromised. The threats can come in many forms – infecting a website with malware in order to spread that malware to site visitors, stealing customer information, like names and email addresses, stealing credit card and other transaction information, adding the website to a botnet of infected sites, and even hijacking or crashing the site.
A single security breach could be a death-knell for a small business. Most states now have strict data breach laws, and many come with stiff fines, penalties, and other costs. Even if a security breach at a small business website doesn’t trigger a data breach, it can still have a huge impact on customer trust if customers find out about it.
An unprotected website is a security risk to customers, other businesses, and public/government sites. It allows for the spread and escalation of malware, attacks on other websites, and even attacks against national targets and infrastructure. In many of these attacks, hackers will try to harness the combined power of thousands of computers and sites to launch this attacks, and the attacks rarely lead directly back to the hackers.
Consumers are nervous about the security risks of the internet. For example, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission every year for the last thirteen years. Consumers seem to sense, because it’s common sense, that most small businesses can’t afford the best security and therefore it’s more likely their website presents a higher risk – whether it’s purchasing or just browsing.
The more a small business can do to build trust in the security of their website, the more likely customers are to visit, stay, buy, return, and recommend. That’s why security seals are important. Not only do they provide reassurance to customers that the website is secure and the business is aware of the risks, but customers are also so used to seeing these seals on websites, they tend to notice when a site has none.
No industry is immune. Hacking is not just about stealing data. Hackers want to create watering holes where they can hide malware as a way to spread the malware to any visitors to that site. They also want to enlist those compromised sites in Distributed Denial of Service (DDS) attacks on other sites. Any site can serve that function. When it comes to data theft, financial services, healthcare, and retail seem to be especially popular.
Be proactive. It is much easier to build in security right from the start than it is to clean up after a compromise. All too often, we work with website owners who did not think about security until it is too late. The resulting downtime, reputation damage, and clean-up are much more difficult and can be much more expensive than starting with security in mind. This is definitely a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If your site is hacked we offer assistance and cleaning services.