In today’s business climate, quality website security is becoming increasingly important. Is your business protected?

As people grow increasingly reliant on technology, accessibility to a company’s digital presence becomes more and more paramount. Faulty website security threatens that accessibility. If a company website is compromised, it can cause irreparable damage to it’s reputation.

One of the most concrete ways this manifests is when search engines, such as Google, black list compromised websites so prospective customers cannot search for them. It is important as a business owner, then, to know your tracks are covered.

There is a long list of reasons why website security is more important than lots of people think. We can’t put them all here, but we can narrow it down. Here are the five most important reasons you should consider stepping up your website’s security.

1. It’s more common than you think

Hackers have been attacking websites since the dawn of the internet. Over the years, as security has become more advanced, so have their tactics. In addition, the shear number of website attacks continue to grow. In 2016, Google reported that the amount of 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“We don’t expect this trend to slow down,” the report said, “As hackers get more aggressive and more sites become outdated, hackers will continue to capitalize by infecting more sites.”

A successful attack could result in your website being blacklisted form search engines.Currently, Google blacklists close to ~20,000 websites a week for malware and another ~50,000 a week for phishing. Those figures have been on the rise for a while, too.

Many business owners believe website hacking isn’t going to happen to them, but the statistics show just how common an attack is.

2. Hackers do not “choose” which websites to attack

Website hackers don’t sit down at their computer and think “today, I’m going to hack this small business.” In fact, their process is much more random than that. Hackers choose their target by broadly searching for common vulnerabilities.

“Over the past three years, more than 3/4 of websites scanned contained unpatched vulnerabilities,” according to a Symantec study, “one in seven (15  percent) of which were deemed critical in 2015.”

This is bad news for a small business owner. One may think a hacker wouldn’t waste their time cracking into a small operation. The truth is, though, that hackers will gain access to any website they can.

Businesses need someone watching over their website, making sure components are up to date and continually updating firewall software.

3. Your reputation is at stake

Smart business owners understand there are few chances to make a good impression. That’s especially true in the digital world, where attention spans seem to be shrinking by the day.

If a potential customer visits your website, then, and catches a virus or some form of malware in the process, they likely will not be returning anytime soon. In fact, the damage could be done before they even reach your website. Web browsers oftentimes warn a customer before they enter an infected site. This warning is enough to scare most (sane) people away.

Having up-to-date website security eliminates the potential for this problem. If you have a professional covering your tracks at all times, you ensure a degree of professionalism to any website user who stumbles onto your website.

4. It’s very difficult to recover from a search engine’s “Blacklist”

Reputation among your customers is important. It’s equally important, though, among your potential new customers. Folks who find your business through a search engine, such as google, oftentimes turn into valuable and loyal customers.

As a website administrator, it should be your top priority to maintain and improve, whenever possible, your relationship with search engines. This is because the higher a search engine views you, the more likely they are to direct potential new members your way.

After a hacker breaks into a website, many search engines will take notice. Their immediate course of action is the blacklist a website, essentially blocking potential new customers from finding your website through their search engine. In fact, Google blacklists thousands of websites every day. When blacklisted, a site loses nearly 95% of its organic traffic. This can cause serious damage to revenue and sales.

Recovering from a blacklist isn’t all too different from a personal identity theft. Currently, there are over 100 blacklist companies, and their servers feed off each other. As the webmaster, you need to petition each one individually in order to be removed.

The longer you take to act, the most companies you will need to clear your record with. This can lead to a time-consuming and expensive endeavor that could be easily avoided.

5. Partnering with a website security expert is effective and painless

Multiple experts in the field agree that preventative action is much more valuable than recovery. A lot of times, preventative action can seem daunting and challenging, but it’s essential to maintain a good standing in the digital age.

While it may seem complex at times, the good news for you is you don’t need to understand every little detail. A talented software engineer understands that hackers are always changing their methods. They adjust their strategy accordingly and do all the heavy lifting. This allows you to return your focus to what you do best: running your business.

Here at Web Design by Knight, we apply our expert knowledge about website security for you. Monthly security and management packages with Web Design by Knight are affordable and accommodating. Sign up for yours today!