Digital security – The elephant in the room

This article discusses the importance of having proper security protocols in place for your online business.

Are you willing to lose the respect and trust of your customers? Are you comfortable forking out thousands of pounds to compensate them for the loss of data? If the answer to both of these questions is no then read on.

Down the rabbit hole

Most small business owners would agree that security is an import factor for their online operations. But too many of them don’t believe that they’re big enough to be the target of hackers. The Internet is a warzone, and your online business is most definitely caught up in the crossfire; whether you know it or not.

Image of someone using a laptop with a presumable intention of hacking

Hackers use indiscriminate bots to scrape the web looking for victims. Once a bot finds what it’s looking for, it then begins the dirty work of attempting to break down the defences. This happens all day, every day. You can put in place preventive measures, though, if you care enough about your reputation.

“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.” – Neill Feather, President of Sitelock

What can you do about it?

No system is one hundred per cent secure. Security is an on-going process of vigilance. Staying abreast of the latest software versions, patching bugs, updating themes, plugins, and so on. But you’re a busy person and you don’t have time for that, right?

Even if you don’t have time for it, hiring a company that does should be a top priority. A quick scan of local SMEs showed that 6 out of 10 WordPress websites were using out-of-date versions; versions with known vulnerabilities.

That’s 60% of scanned websites. These are all businesses that are potentially opening themselves up to reputation damage, loss of data, and unhappy customers. Do you want to be in that number?

I’m sure the answer would be a resounding no. For a detailed list of things you can do to protect yourself against hackers, read my previous post WordPress Security – How to Make WordPress Secure