How Secure Is Your Website Really?

December 20, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

Do you know how secure your business website is from cyber attacks? If you think small companies don’t have to worry about cyber security, think again. More than 70 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, the National Cyber Security Alliance reports. Cyber attacks of all kinds are on the rise: Ransomware alone cost U.S. small businesses $75 million in downtime last year, according to Datto.

Cyber Crime Consequences

Being hacked can have long-lasting consequences for your business and your reputation. Over 50 percent of businesses surveyed in Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report had suffered a data breach. Of those:

  • 29 percent lost revenue; 38 percent of those lost over 20 percent of their revenues.
  • 23 percent lost business opportunities; 42 percent of those lost over 20 percent of their potential new business.
  • 22 percent lost customers; 40 percent of those lost more than 20 percent of their customers.

How to Protect Your Website

How can you protect your website from cyber crime? Follow these best practices:

  • Choose a reputable hosting service that offers a secure website platform. Look for a company with a history in the industry and a reputation for customer support.
  • Install firewall protection and anti-virus software. For extra security, set up both a network firewall and individual computer firewalls.
  • Set your computers’ operating systems and software to update automatically so you won’t miss out on a critical security update.
  • Make sure you and your employees choose strong passwords and change them regularly. Using a password manager app is an easy way to simplify this. Limit access to sensitive accounts or data only to those employees who need it. Instruct employees not to share passwords.
  • Educate your employees on cyber crime trends and how to recognize common cyber attack “bait” such as spam and phishing emails. For example, one growing trend is spam emails that look like they come from inside the company. This makes people more likely to click on links or open attachments.
  • Automatically back up your data in secure, cloud-based storage. Test your backups from time to time to make sure they’re working properly and that you can restore data easily.
  • Be especially careful with customers’ and clients’ data. Whether it’s their bank account numbers and credit card information, or just their email addresses, your clients don’t want their personal information exposed to the world.
  • Get SSL certification to show that you’re taking the proper steps to secure information. SSL protection encrypts data to keep it safe from hackers. The SSL certification on your website and the “lock” icon in the browser bar will tell customers they can feel confident doing business with you.

The top tip to protect your business: Take cyber security seriously and never assume cyber crime can’t happen to you.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

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