Cost of Business Recovery Hacked Website?

In today’s climate it’s not a matter of IF you will be attacked, but WHEN. Do you know the costs of having a hacked website?

Many business owners and website managers believe they will never be the target of a hacker. Either they think it isn’t really all that common or they believe they are too small of a business so no one will come for them.
Unfortunately, this line of thinking puts honest managers at a substantial risk.
Hacking has been around since the beginning of the internet. In fact, it only grew more prevalent as the years went on. In 2016, Google announced that website hacks were up 32% from the year before.
“We don’t expect this trend to slow down,” the report said, “As hackers get more aggressive and more sites become outdated, hackers will continue to capitalize by infecting more sites.”
Business owners may think “just because they are common doesn’t mean they are coming for me. My business is too small to be of interest for them.” This is also a faulty line of thinking.
Hackers do not choose which websites to hack. They simply scan the internet for webpages with vulnerabilities and attack what they believe they can infiltrate. If your website isn’t properly updated, there is a good chance it is vulnerable to an attack.
What happens when my website is hacked?
Well, things move pretty fast.
Normally business owners have a variety of signs their site is attacked – 1) their emails start to bounce back or being rejected. 2) They get an email from Google telling them their site has been hacked (at this point the site has probably been hacked for a long time) 3) their website starts showing ads they didn’t add or approve. 4) the website gives a warning like below (at this point the site has been hacked for a long time).
The moment a website is compromised, the clock starts ticking. There are over 100 blacklisting companies that protect consumers by keeping an eye out for hacked websites. If your website is marked as harmful by these companies, consumers receive a warning before entering your site.

Blacklisting websites also share information with one another. This means if one company marks you as harmful, it is just a matter of time before other companies begin to mark you as well.
But what is this going to cost me?
Obviously, your business will face some upfront costs to fix this problem. When you have a hacked website, you will likely need to hire a web developer to repair the damage. You’ll also experience some administrative costs simply communicating with your internal team, not to mention the hours billed to the IT staff who could’ve been doing more productive work.
These are all problems you can put a price on. What you can’t put a price on, though, is the real damage.
A hacked website can cause frustration and doubt among an otherwise professional organization and your loyal clients. As the bills begin mounting, it’s not uncommon for folks to blame one another for the unnecessary work.
Hacked websites also add a degree of disruption to your work schedule. If your team was pushing to launch a new campaign of product on a tight deadline, it could be completely derailed. For a brief time your team needs to refocus on the hack, putting important work on the back burner. This can create long hours, push deadlines back, and introduce the element of stress.
Your website will be off-line until the issues is resolved – causing loss of customer loyalty, but loss of future business
Removing your website from the dreaded blacklists, however, is typically the most painful cost…
How bad can blacklisting be?
Blacklists can cause irreparable damage to an honest business. This is especially true for high-volume companies such as online retailers, since a site loses nearly 95% of its organic traffic when blacklisted. Most businesses budget a certain amount of sales for a given time period and not a lot can withstand even just 3-4 days of decreased organic traffic.
According to Google, one of the biggest challenges is alerting website managers there is a problem.
“Unfortunately, many webmasters for compromised sites are unaware anything is amiss. Worse yet, even when they learn of an incident, they may lack the security expertise to take action and address the root cause of compromise.”
Whether you are aware of the hack of not, your business begins to spread through the blacklisting community. The longer you go without addressing the issue, the higher the costs.
Even after you realize there is a problem, it’s difficult to have your reputation repaired. Most companies correct the hack within a couple of days. Even when you follow all proper channels, though, it still can take a week or two for Google to actually take down the message. This is true even if your website is clean of any viruses.
As mentioned earlier, there are over 100 blacklist companies, and their servers feed off each other. Webmasters need to petition each one individually in order to be removed.
Overall, website maintenance and security is key to avoiding these costs. Economically speaking, it is a safer investment to hire a website management professional than to hope a hack doesn’t happen to you.
Has your business website been hacked?
Call us today about our recovery services – the sooner you start to address the issue the more time and money you will save.

Article: by Web Design by Knight

Why Web Security is Important

We sat down to talk with Neill Feather, President of Sitelock, about the importance of web security in today’s digital landscape. Even if you don’t run a business online, you can still glean some insight from the discussion.

Here’s our conversation:

1. What is the #1 reason most people don’t lock up their website?
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.

2. Why is website security so important?
Your website is your brand, your storefront, and often your first contact with customers. If it’s not safe and secure, those critical business relationships can be compromised. The threats can come in many forms – infecting a website with malware in order to spread that malware to site visitors, stealing customer information, like names and email addresses, stealing credit card and other transaction information, adding the website to a botnet of infected sites, and even hijacking or crashing the site.

A single security breach could be a death-knell for a small business. Most states now have strict data breach laws, and many come with stiff fines, penalties, and other costs. Even if a security breach at a small business website doesn’t trigger a data breach, it can still have a huge impact on customer trust if customers find out about it.

An unprotected website is a security risk to customers, other businesses, and public/government sites. It allows for the spread and escalation of malware, attacks on other websites, and even attacks against national targets and infrastructure. In many of these attacks, hackers will try to harness the combined power of thousands of computers and sites to launch this attacks, and the attacks rarely lead directly back to the hackers.

3. Some people may think of web security as a way to build trust with customers. They may think that it’s simply a way to prevent malicious attacks. While prevention is important, how does web security build trust with customers?
Consumers are nervous about the security risks of the internet. For example, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission every year for the last thirteen years. Consumers seem to sense, because it’s common sense, that most small businesses can’t afford the best security and are therefore it’s more likely their website presents a higher risk – whether it’s purchasing or just browsing.

The more a small business can do to build trust in their website, the more likely customers are to visit, stay, buy, return, and recommend. That’s why security seals are important. Not only do they provide reassurance to customers that the website is secure and the business is aware of the risks, but customers are also so used to seeing these seals on websites, they tend to notice when a site has none.

4. What industries need to be particularly careful about securing their website?
No industry is immune. Hacking is not just about stealing data. Hackers want to create watering holes where they can hide malware as a way to spread the malware to any visitors to that site. They also want to enlist those compromised sites in Distributed Denial of Service attacks on other sites. Any site can serve that function. When it comes to data theft, financial services, healthcare, and retail seem to be especially popular.

5. Does the FCC provide any info to help small businesses?
In 2011, the FCC created and launched the Small Business Cyber Planner, a free online tool to help small businesses develop their own cybersecurity plan. The security team that helped develop that tool included Symantec, Visa, and Neal O’Farrell, an advisor to SiteLock.

6. October is National CyberSecurity Awareness month. Why October?
(Does it have anything to do with the holidays approaching?)
Not sure but probably picked October because the holidays are one of the busiest seasons for hackers and cybercrooks and a good time to raise awareness. SiteLock has joined other leading security and technology companies to champion this cause because awareness is a critical first step in securing business and personal assets

7. What’s the most important step that business owners should do today to protect their website?
It’s tough to pick just one. Some easy steps are to create a security plan, even a simple one, share it with everyone involved, and stick to it. Manage your passwords carefully, especially website access. And keep all computers and mobile devices free from malware so they’re not used as a launchpad for a website attack. Of course, it would be smart to enroll in a service like the one we offer at SiteLock. It’s affordable to even the smallest business yet provides the same types of website security that even the biggest businesses enjoy.

8. Does choosing the right hosting provider make a difference for web security?
Of course, the hosting company is a key to website security. The host provides the infrastructure upon which the site will be built. Just like building a house, you need a strong foundation in order to be safe. It also matters how you go about building the house, which is an important piece that website owners sometimes don’t fully understand. While the host provides the infrastructure, the site needs to be secure as well. In fact, websites are now a much more popular entry point than servers or networks, accounting for up to 80% according to a recent report from Verizon. We often use the analogy of an apartment complex. The host provides the security for the building, so if the front door hangs open and there is no buzzer system, that is the host’s responsibility. If you leave your apartment door open, though, it is still your responsibility. This is the same way with a web host and website owner.

9. How does a Content Delivery Network provide a better experience to users?
Content Delivery Networks, or CDN’s help accelerate a website’s performance. Faster sites are much more pleasant to interact with for customers, so they are more likely to stay longer and come back or buy something if they can interact with the site quickly and easily. Maybe more importantly, faster sites rank higher on search engines, so more users will see the site and can get there. SiteLock offers every iPage customer access to our TrueSpeed CDN, which has the additional benefit of providing protection for the site owner through our TrueShield web application firewall, which blocks malicious traffic to the site.

10. Anything else business owners should know about web security?
Be proactive. It is much easier to build in security right from the start than it is to clean up after a compromise. All too often, we work with website owners who did not think about security until it is too late. The resulting downtime, reputation damage, and clean-up are much more difficult and can be much more expensive than starting with security in mind. This is definitely a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Why Web Security is Important

Website Security

 

Every week, we read about another massive breach due to cyberattack. These breaches can cost organizations millions of dollars, subject them to lawsuits, and ruin thousands of lives.

On Jan 8th 2017 this site (csbrooklyn.org) was hacked. Under closer investigation, it was discovered that the perpetrator “parked” the site (change DNS “A” records) and forwarded the domain name(csbrooklyn.org) to its old URL. These kinds of malicious acts can be a result of not having elements (core plugins, themes WordPress core updates and more) of a website up to date and secure.

If you don’t keep your company’s website up to date, you’re at risk of your website being hacked and/or not working with modern browsers and smartphones.

If your website gets hacked customer data could be stolen, payment systems could be redirected to someone else and your website could start installing malware on customers computers or showing them illegal content. If your website starts distributing malware then you may also find that email you send gets blocked by spam filters.

One of the most obvious reason to keep your WordPress updated is, of course, all the latest and greatest features and upgrades to the software. But what about your plugins? Your latest plugins are modified to work with the most current releases of WordPress, and if you start to lag behind with your WordPress updates, you may not able to use it to its full capability and run the latest releases of all the plugins.

While some of you might ask – What if I’m satisfied with the way the site currently functions and don’t need the new features in the latest version? – We have only one word for you – Security.

Hackers aim for the most popular pages, and since WordPress is currently the most popular Content Management System available, keeping it updated is paramount as it is quite an interesting a target for hackers.

Since WordPress covers an enormous user base and active development community, it issues new versions of the software as soon as a security flaw is detected. The researches have shown that the majority of hacked WordPress websites are due to not keeping up with installing the latest release. Always be on the safe side, that’s our motto.

Opportunities that come from staying up to date.
(i) A more secure website.
(ii) Your website and admin area may run faster.
(iii) Improved browsing and management of the website on modern smartphones and tablets.
(iv) Easier to use interface to add/update content and images.
(v) Better user experience which leads to more sales.
(vi) Higher search engine rankings
(vii) Peace of mind with a more secure website.

RECOMMENDATION:

Website care plans are becoming more and more necessary with the rise of this new threat for companies. We offer you a worthwhile investment in website security. CLICK HERE