The war against cybercrime has become one of the 21st century’s main battlegrounds, and America is on the frontline. In 2016 over a thousand data breaches were reported across the States, compared to just 38 in the United Kingdom. One in ten US consumers has experienced a cyberattack through their home network. While the government spent $14 billion on cybersecurity last year – a substantial amount – this is still less than the $16 billion American consumers lost to identity fraud alone.
Research from Symantec suggests 43% of attacks on businesses target small companies, so your startup or garage enterprise is as much at risk as high-profile victims like Equifax or Target. Keeping your customers secure is vital for your future prosperity, not least since 60% of small businesses cease trading within six months of a cyberattack. But how do you protect the general public against unseen (and constantly evolving) threats?
The threat is real
First, accept that your firm will eventually be targeted by the criminal fraternity. Most companies will find their website security being challenged sooner or later, even if firewalls or malware detection software successfully repel attacks at source. The best defense involves choosing a web hosting partner offering the latest protections. Midphase’s global data centers are staffed 24/7 by IT professionals, and equipped with military-grade security. Meeting security compliance standards expected of banks and government institutions, our high-speed servers can withstand brute force DDoS attacks. Even if one server hosting your website goes down, we have copies of every file and folder in multiple online locations.
Sites for sore eyes
We can, however, only do so much to support website security on behalf of individual clients. Our customers also have a role to play, from choosing a robust website template to ensuring plugins and add-ons are kept up to date. Software revisions often address security flaws – if the developers know about vulnerabilities, hackers will have found out about them, too. Contact forms represent a known weak spot, but platforms like WordPress are loaded with low-cost plugins built to repel spam and reject attempts at gaining access to the site.
Effective website security extends into areas like SSL certificates, which enable websites to transmit securely across https protocols. It involves asking customers to use two-factor authentication for sensitive or financial activities. It means never asking people for their passwords in an email, and ensuring every inbound SMS or letter proves its authenticity. You can’t do much to stop phishing emails impersonating your brand, but you can repeatedly inform your customers they’ll never be asked for passwords or other sensitive information.
Customers recognize and appreciate efforts to keep them secure, and their loyalty to a firm will increase if it’s got their best interests at heart. Optimizing website security isn’t just a necessary evil – it’s a way of differentiating your brand from less conscientious competitors.
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