The short answer to this question is a resounding, “yes!” But there are several reasons why you need secure website hosting, especially when it comes to your business website. Got your site on a free WordPress hosting provider? Opted for a “discount” web hosting company and think you should be safe? Read today’s article to find out why you may want to rethink a few things.
Who Do Hackers Target?
While the true definition of “hacker” has evolved over the years, the fact remains that whether it’s a 12 year old kid doing it just to see if he can or a middle-aged man determined to gain access to your customer data for financial gain, a breach can be costly. Any website, anywhere in the world, on any given subject that provides any type of opinion, good, or service can be the target of hackers.
Generally hackers are after information — either goldmines including full credit card and other financial data, or information that may help them in future “phishing” expeditions. Gaining access to your customer’s email addresses alone can be invaluable in the wrong hands, but when you include home addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and even passwords (which many ill-advisedly use the same across multiple sites, including financial institutions) the value of your site to hackers can be extraordinary.
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
As we said above, any site can become the target of nefarious internet users and no matter what some unscrupulous web hosting companies may tell you, nobody can guarantee that you’ll never be hit. That is why it is imperative that you ensure that you opt for secure web hosting, utilize “strong” and impossible to guess passwords (especially on your “Admin” accounts for the website), and that your site is protected with failsafe backups. Preferably “off-site” backups.
If and when your data is breached, whether it’s by a “brute force” attack, an as-of-now unknown exploit, an employee mistake, or other circumstance that allows unauthorized access, the effects can be far reaching and impact more lives than you’d ever expect. The monetary losses can be astronomical, for your company, your customers and/or clients, your bank, insurance companies, and of course other vendors if the compromised data is used to breach accounts there or fraudulent purchases by the hackers using stolen credit card information.
However, you should also consider longterm effects. Where are your customers going to turn while you rebuild? How damaging is the breach going to be to your reputation? How much revenue will be lost during the outage and as a direct result of the breach? Without a secure server, regular malware scans, data backups and expert support, it could be days, weeks, or even longer before your company website is back up and running.
What Should I Do If My Site is Hacked?
If you ever do experience a data breach there are a few things that you should do immediately, and some you should do as quickly as possible. Here are some recommended steps to help you recover from an attack.
- Contact your web hosting provider – They should be able to provide some details about the attack, including how the breach occurred in the first place. For example, if your site is on shared hosting it may mean that others have been compromised as well.
- Remove the injected malware or other malicious software – Again this is an area where your web host should provide assistance and have the tools available to help you remove the content that was placed on your site by the hacker. However, of you’re on a free host or they do not have the necessary tools or support, you may want to consider using available removal tools and scanning software.
- Lock down your admin “backend” – Many hacks are due to those brute force attacks mentioned earlier and you can look at services like Brute Protect to help you against attacks designed specifically to target CMS platforms like WordPress.
- Verify you aren’t “blacklisted” – Be sure to log in and check Google Webmaster Tools for any site warnings that need to be addressed. You will also have to resubmit for review once the compromise has been resolved.
- Update your CMS (Content Management System) to the latest version – Updates address known vulnerabilities and you may want to turn on “Automatic Updates” if available.
- Update your plugins – Plugins are also potential breach points if they aren’t kept updated.
Make The Move to Secure Hosting
With BionicWP you’re not only getting secure web hosting, you get daily malware scans, 90-days of off-site backups, expert support, automatic updates for WordPress core and plugins, and realtime up-time monitoring. With packages available for every need, we do what it takes to ensure the success and security of your website. Secure WordPress hosting is critical these days and with BionicWP, we provide security and peace of mind at prices you’re not going to believe. Visit our website or contact us today for more information.