How Important is Website Security for Your Business?

Chloe Bunce | Digital

Article Published: 15th April 2019

Website Security Chloe Bunce

Cyber criminals aren’t biased when it comes to choosing their next victim. No business, industry or individual is excluded from the pool of potential targets. From DDoS attacks to malware, there are many malicious ways your business website can be attacked and taken offline. So, when it comes to deciding how important website security is for you, the big question to ask is ‘how much will unplanned downtime cost my business?’

Effects of Unplanned Downtime

It’s important to remember the cost of a website security breach isn’t just monetary value. Of course, sales are directly affected by website downtime, especially if you offer a web-shop or portal where customers can purchase online, but the loss of reputation and brand credibility could equally cause as much damage to a business.

According to the recent ‘Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019’ by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 31% of micro/small businesses identified cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. Of these, 15% took a day or more to recover from their most disruptive breach with an average annual cost of £3,650 per business for those that lost data or assets after breaches.

Your website is a core element of your brand and is often the first interaction a customer has with your business. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so you don’t want to waste it by delivering a website that does not load for the user.

Security has been put in the spotlight, even more so since GDPR came into effect, and now even more customers are aware of security and the requirements businesses must impose to protect them. Your competitors will be looking to find their advantage over you, and website security is all part of the package. Confidence in your brand could be lost if your level of protection does not meet their expectations.

Latest law changes from the EU can now fine businesses that do not have appropriate security measures in place to secure systems and data. Any security breach could put your business in the line of fire for large penalties.

Basic Security Measures for Protection

Every minute of unplanned downtime is a lost opportunity, so make sure your business website is prepared. There are some basic levels of security you can implement with little to no cost. Below are a few options:

SSL Certificates: In July 2018, Google updated their system to display Chrome users with an insecure warning for websites that did not have a valid SSL certificate installed. Not only does it make alarm bells ring for the unsuspecting users trying to access your site, but you can guarantee they won’t want to submit any personal data through form submissions on an insecure site, which will negatively impact your lead-generation tool. It is also widely regarded that SSL certificates are now a key ranking factor in SEO.

Daily Backups: Not all unplanned downtime is malicious, it can be caused by server errors or user error from employees. Ensuring you have a daily backup of your website will help to ensure if the worst does happen, you can get your site back online quickly, and with minimum negative impact on SEO.

Software and Plugin Updates: Hackers will often find and exploit threats in commonly used platforms and plugins. Website maintenance is an important task for protecting your site and removing exposed threats. Install updates to your core software and plugins in a timely manner, as these updates will often contain vital security patches.

Security & Monitoring Plugins:

WordPress itself is a secure platform, but sometimes it’s nice to have that added bit of security for peace of mind and to eliminate risk if your website is critical to your business. Here are some of the top security plugins in the market.

Wordfence Security – As one of the most comprehensive WordPress security plugins available, Wordfence Security includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner to help keep your website protected.

Download here:

Sucuri Security – Created by a team of WordPress experts, Sucuri Security is a free plugin that will regularly monitor your website and strengthen your existing security levels. Security includes: file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning and blacklist monitoring.

Download here:

All In One WP Security & Firewall – This plugin is designed and written by experts and is easy to understand. As one of the most popular security plugins on WordPress, it reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities and by implementing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.

Download here:

There are a host of other products on the market, and ultimately it depends on the specific needs for your website.

At Motion, we like to stay abreast of the latest security threats and methods to help prevent them for both our customers and Motion’s tools. Are you planning a website project for your business? Motion Marketing can help, get in touch with the team for your free consultation.

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