You've put hours of work into getting your website up. You're courting new clients and business is going great. Nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. There are a number of security risks that your shiny new website faces.
Why would my innocent website be attacked?
- Hackers are looking to gain access to your hosting environment to provide a resource for botnets. Botnets, among other things, can be used for denial of service attacks on other sites and to distribute spam email.
- Your compromised site can be used to distribute malware and viruses.
- Unscrupulous people are looking to steal your data such as user information, emails, passwords and financial information.
- Some hacks are done with no more purpose than to cause malice and disruption to your site, much like vandalism.
What can go wrong if my site is compromised?
- Customers privacy can be breeched and their data stolen. Depending on your website, this data can include contact information, email addresses, passwords and financial information.
- Your site can be used by a botnet to distribute malware and viruses. You're now part of the hackers network and contributing to the problem. You can also be blacklisted by search engines causing big problems for your SEO strategy that you've worked hard at.
- Your site can be used to send out bulk amounts of spam emails. This will undoubtably end up in your IP address (your unique identity online) being added to spam blacklists. Once this happens, a high percentage of your emails will not be able to be delivered. The process of getting delisted can be complicated and time consuming.
- Your site can be taken over allowing a hacker to deface it and publish their own, often offensive and embarrassing content.
- Your site can be taken offline. Correcting this can be costly both from upfront expenses as well as lost revenues.
- A compromised site delivers a very bad message to your customers or audience and will result in a loss of credibility of your business.
I have a WordPress website. Am I safe?
A recent security report cited that 73% of WordPress installations have vulnerabilities and 20% of the most popular WordPress plugins are vulnerable to common attacks. Above that, 13% of ALL websites could be compromised automatically.
WordPress is the most popular website platforms, thus it has become a target for hackers. When new WordPress versions are released, so are security and vulnerability details of the prior version. This makes it easier for attackers to target older versions. Often, automated tools are created to source and attack these older versions of WordPress.
What can I do to protect my website?
- SOFTWARE. Regularly update your website software including the main platform software as well as any contributing modules or plugins and themes.
- PASSWORDS. Use strong passwords. Change them regularly. Try to avoid using default usernames like 'admin' or 'editor'. Always use different passwords so you don't 'give away the keys to the kingdom' if one password happens to be compromised. We strongly recommend using a password manager like 1Password.
- MULTI FACTOR IDENTIFICATION. Using a system that can also request email or text authentication can protect you against lost or stolen passwords. Most of the large websites (i.e.: Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc.) are using it these days. WordPress has many options that we can help you set up.
- PERSONAL COMPUTERS & DEVICES. Ensure that your computer and all of your devices are safe and sound. Keep your operating system and application software up to date. Run anti virus software and update your virus definitions regularly.
- USE A REPUTABLE WEB HOSTING COMPANY. At Silver Barrel Solutions, we have you covered. We have strategies in place to protect you against denial of service and other malicious attacks. We run a web application firewall to keep your website safe and we ensure that all of our hosting software is kept up to date.
Sign up for a Silver Barrel Solution's Maintenance Plan
We offer a variety of maintenance/security plans to ensure that your site is up to date, safe and secure. We perform regular backups and performance assessments on a monthly basis. Learn more about the Silver Barrel Solution maintenance plans here.