Almost certainly any small business owner managing their presence across the #digitallandscape is not thinking about their website getting hacked.

What would a hacker possibly gain from using his or her dubious skill set only to discover there is not much cash in your business account and nothing untoward about your business practices (we’re looking at you Ashley Madison)?

What quite a few people don’t realise, is that while it is not impossible that you’ve been directly targeted, it’s highly unlikely.

Hackers are a bit like e-mail scammers except, in place of grammatically erroneous emails, they write and distribute automated code throughout the Internet that hunts for sites that run on open source platforms like Joomla, WordPress or Drupal.  If it finds one that is unguarded, it dumps a steaming pile of malicious code on its server.  Even with advanced security systems, hackers who are targeting you directly for sensitive company data have advanced ways and means of getting you to open the safe door – so to speak – by using public information and legitimate looking phishing methods.

A website security breach takes minutes to ruin your online reputation and many years to restore it. Click To Tweet

Lying in wait

Once in, the code is often left to quietly lurk for a while hoping that there hasn’t been a clean backup of the website recently.  Even if you do a weekly backup, the last one could have been a day after the code arrived so a week later you dutifully back-up again, this time with the stowaway code along for the ride.  A month later you realise you’ve been hacked when you and your IT whiz are staring at what seems like religious propaganda on your company’s “About Us” page.  This is the kind of attack that takes minutes to ruin your online reputation and many years to restore it by spending an unmentionable amount of profit on, website fixes, spin doctoring and PR repairs.

Don’t assume that your service provider will be able to quickly restore it all to its natural order, either.  Often the responsibility of a disaster recovery plan is left to fall on the owner of the website.  This means that you should be ensuring that your website undergoes a regular backup schedule – daily if possible and definitely off-site in the cloud somewhere.

You might feel we are being somewhat pedantic, but a long term back-up plan beats dealing with the long term effects of a hacked website, by a country mile.

Security shouldn’t be your burden

Backing up regularly offers you a much higher chance of being able to restore to a “pre-malicious code” version, and at Banter Media we provide backups of your website.  We also ensure that all your security software, themes and plugins are up to date to further protect you against a hack.

At Banter Media we don’t think this off-site and recurrent backup and security concern should be added to your To-do list, so we’ll make sure it’s done for you – weekly.  Clients on our monthly retainer incur zero additional cost to restore their website to its latest version should their site be hacked (the chances are minimal since we have you covered); while those not on a retainer suffer the damaging costs of paying for a brand new website that has to be built from scratch – along with the stress!

We are well aware that compromising your online reputation compromises ours; so protecting our clients is never a gamble, but rather a safeguarded win-win.

Do you know if your website is secure? If not, contact us and we will be able to advise you on your best course of action.

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