According to CyberExperts.com, hackers attack 50,000 websites every day. QuickSprout offers a somewhat more conservative estimate of 30,000. Potatoes, po-tah-toes: that’s a massive number of breaches and a lot of website data at risk.
But here’s the real kicker. Even though half of all companies in the world experienced a data breach in the past year, 50% feel ill-equipped to handle a significant breach.
Even more concerning, much of this criminal activity is beginning to target small businesses as well as larger corporations. Cybercrime has become a global industry worth approximately 45 billion USD a year. With the increase in remote work, threats like ransomware, phishing, and data breaches are increasingly aimed at SMBs. Cybercriminals know that many small businesses don’t put a lot of effort into website data security, making them an easy mark.
What Could Happen if Your Website is Hacked?
The start of the 2020 pandemic saw a significant rise in companies moving their business online; many introduced ecommerce stores to their websites for the first time.
Whether you’re doing a few dozen or thousands of transactions a month, your website is critical to your business continuity. One in eight companies affected by data breaches will not recover at all.
Some of the most common website security risks include malware, ransomware, viruses, and DDoS attacks. And while you might think you know how to spot an incoming threat, you can’t control what other people do. Are you 100% confident that both you and every single one of your employees follows best security practices 100% of the time? Everyone who has access to a system is a potential avenue for social phishing. Even the pros aren’t immune; CloudFare, a cybersecurity company itself, fell victim to a phishing attack in March 2021.
If your organization is the target of a breach, sensitive information could be exposed, including customer names, email addresses, and other personally identifiable information (PII). Data breaches involving PII are especially damaging, as you could be subject to millions of dollars in fines under current data security legislation – not to mention the loss of trust from customers who have had sensitive information like credit cards exposed. Don’t forget, you’ll have to deal with all of this on top of the work you’ll have to do to restore your systems.
Plus, unsecured websites risk blacklisting by search engines. While blacklisting isn’t a security threat, it devalues any SEO work you’ve done and makes it that much harder to get back on page one.
Backups Are Your Best Defense
Cloud backups give you the peace of mind of having a viable copy of your business data that you can use to restore your site in case of a disaster. Without a backup, it would be up to you to re-input all your data, reconnect your third-party applications, and test their functionality.
Plus, you’ll have to work extra hard to convince your customers that they should trust you, despite having been the target of a breach. No matter how quickly you can get back up and running again, your reputation will undoubtedly take a hit, and you might never completely recover.
Protecting Your Assets
The good news is, it’s possible to avoid these unfortunate situations. Protecting your website and its data is the first step. Data is only as secure as its backup: you’ll need a reliable online backup solution to ensure you can restore data quickly if your site crashes.
Here are a few actionable steps you can take right now to secure your website data:
- Enable Website Monitoring. Most website monitoring tools run as fully managed services in the cloud. You’ll have a single and highly detailed view of your website’s performance, including all third-party apps connected to it.
- Enforce Strong Passwords. Use strong passwords — ideally, passphrases with 12-16 characters. A password manager tool like 1Password is even better.
- Set User Permissions. Define permissions for all users of your site. 95% of all data loss results from human error. An innocent mistake could cause disastrous results.
- Enable multi-factor authentication for all users.
- Update Frequently. Make sure your site platform and all third-party applications are up-to-date.
- Use HTTPS. HTTPS establishes a secure connection between your web server and clients, improves your website security, and helps you rank in search engines.
- Deploy a Cloud Backup Solution. Cloud backups run continuously, giving you a 360˚ snapshot of your systems from which you can restore single files or your entire website — including all third-party apps, plugins, and dependencies.
In conclusion, there are plenty of things you can do immediately to secure your website and its data.
Of course, no precaution can guarantee disaster will never strike. The only secure website is a fully backed up website. BaaS services take the hassle out of data security, so you can focus on doing what you do best: running your online business.