A website is a valuable asset to have: It gives you an opportunity to differentiate from your competitors, attract customers, and make money.

And when something is valuable, it deserves protecting.

We’re here to help you understand and navigate the security issues your website faces so that you’re prepared to handle them should they occur. Today, we’re delving into website security risks, website owner responsibilities, and how SiteLock Security helps keep your website secure.

SiteLock and Website Security

The state of cybersecurity

You might think that as a small business or independent contractor you’re not on any hacker’s radar, because who’d want to waste their time when there are bigger targets, right?

Think again. Small business websites are prime targets for hackers because they’re often not well secured, yet they still harbor a wealth of data and information.

In 2015, (which already seems eons ago) Ginni Rometty, IBM’s Chairman and CEO, stated that:

We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time. It is the world’s new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, and it is transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true – even inevitable – then cybercrime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.

That statement rings truer today than it did a mere five years ago. 4iQ says in their 2019 Identity Breach Report that “Cyber criminals [have] shifted their focus, targeting more small businesses, resulting in a 424% increase in authentic and new breaches from 2017.”

Whose responsibility is website security?

At its most basic level, website security is any action taken to protect your website from harm.

But whose job is it to make sure a website is secure? Well, as a website owner — it’s yours.

And there’s a lot to keeping a website safe, like maintaining secure passwords, patching vulnerabilities in different applications, and keeping plugins and tools up to date. But a website owner’s responsibilities don’t stop there. If a website does get infected with malware or hacked, it’s also their job to fix it.

Luckily, you don’t have to do these things on your own (okay, the password bit you probably should). There are tools, like SiteLock Security, that are designed to prevent and mitigate attacks and harm to your website.

Sometimes, we get asked, “Isn’t it my web hosting provider’s job to keep my website secure?” And the answer is no, it isn’t.

Jessica Ortega created this great, short YouTube video that explains the responsibilities of both website owner and web host when it comes to security.  In it, she interviews Ryan Austin, who paints the following analogy.

Think of your web hosting provider as the superintendent of an apartment complex. It’s their responsibility to make sure the building is secure from the outside, to keep the lights on in the parking lot, and ensure all is well outside of your apartment. Your website is like an apartment in the complex and it’s your responsibility to keep it secure — lock the doors and do your part to prevent intruders. If someone does get in because you’ve left a window or door unsecured, your superintendent isn’t at fault.

What happens if my site gets hacked?

Your website is central to your business, so if it gets hacked or infected with malware you face a number of potential consequences that range from a suspended site, to data theft and ransom, and loss of revenue and consumer trust.

If your web host detects malware on your site, they’re liable to suspend or take down your site. This is because they don’t want the malware on your site to spread and infect other sites. It’s similar to the idea of using quarantine to keep viral infections at bay.

A site infected with malware isn’t something you can keep under wraps. Google’s Chrome browser is the most used internet browser in 2020, and it’s not shy in warning its users away from websites that are possibly infected with malware. If they detect that your site is infected they’ll blacklist it and alert their users, as malware can spread to people who visit and interact with your site. Your potential customers won’t want to take the risk. Instead of doing business with you they’ll turn around and find a (safe and uninfected) competitor’s website.

And if your website is infected with malware, chances are you’ll have to restore it to an older version (assuming you have backups) or re-build it altogether, both options meaning you’ll have lost a lot of time and hard work.

The effects of website hacking are many and varied, but never pleasant. Here are five real-life examples of small businesses that got hacked and their devastating consequences.

How to keep your website secure with SiteLock Security

The security of your website should be a top priority, and there are things you can do today to help prevent and mitigate attacks to your site.

We know that small business owners, entrepreneurs, and people with side hustles wear a lot of different hats. It’s tough enough keeping up with the day-to-day aspects of running your business much less staying on top of online threats that are hard to see and harder to predict.

That’s why we’ve partnered with SiteLock Security to give you, and your website, some peace of mind.

Benefits of SiteLock Security

SiteLock Security protects your website from malware, viruses, hackers, and spam. It does this by scanning your site for these malicious things, automatically removing any malware it locates, and alerting you when something doesn’t look quite right.

In addition to the services they provide behind-the-scenes, SiteLock Security comes with a seal that you can display on your site. The SiteLock seal inspires confidence in your site; in fact, when SiteLock and Domain.com did a user study in 2014, we found that displaying the SiteLock seal can increase conversions by up to 15%.

SiteLock Security plans and features

At Domain.com we offer three different SiteLock Security plans: Essentials, Prevent, and Prevent Plus, to suit the varying needs of website owners.  

If you think you might need even more protection to maintain your website performance and security, we can help. Call us toll-free at (800) 403-3568 to speak to an expert and make sure that your website gets all the protection it needs.

Don’t delay when the security of your website and site traffic is at stake.

Hackers, malware, suspended websites — it all sounds like the stuff of small business nightmares… because it is. Save yourself a headache or ten by investing in your website’s security now. 

Get SiteLock Security today and rest easy knowing that your website is in good hands.