4 reasons why you should secure your website
Since the Covid-19 Pandemic arrived on Ireland’s shores it has caused major disruption to life as we knew it. A nationwide lockdown forced many businesses to close their doors to customers effectively shutting sources of revenue.
However, as a nation, we reacted and adapted to this new way of life with a level of efficiency that certainly makes me proud to be Irish. Many Irish businesses have moved their offerings online in response to the pandemic, some for the first time. According to figures published by IE Domain Registry, there was a 25.8% increase in .ie registrations in H1 of 2020 (Jan - Jun) compared to the same period in 2019. To put that in numbers, a total of 33,286 new .ie domains were registered, with over 40% of these new registrations occurring in the months of May and June when the nationwide lockdown was in place.
With this sudden increase in online presence for businesses, it has also led to companies increasing their risk to cyber-attacks. That is why Secora Consulting is proud to be a member of the eCommerce Association of Ireland’s (eCAI) taskforce offering security advice to Irish businesses who have recently ventured online.
We recently carried out a penetration test of eCAI’s website and will be releasing a case study shortly on their positive experience and the benefits of testing to increase awareness of the importance of ensuring your website is secure.
Ahead of releasing the case study, we thought we would share the four main reasons you should secure your website to reduce the threat of a cyber attack
1. Your business can become a super spreader
Many systems are hacked using malicious software which can infect your systems and networks, hijack your computer's resources and gather data. If an attacker gains access to your systems they can use it to infect other systems including customers with malicious software.
To borrow a term used relating to asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, your systems can then become a super spreader. If you have no security controls in place and don’t carry out security testing this behaviour may go unnoticed and overtime affects thousands of devices.
2. Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise
As we have mentioned in a previous blog, cybercriminals have been ramping up their attacks against organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. An INTERPOL report released last week shows that many criminals are using the confusion around COVID-19 to exploit businesses. It is believed that the number of cyberattacks will continue to rise as the pandemic goes on.
Given enough time or resources nearly anything can be hacked, you should keep this in mind when developing your website and networks, moving your business online. The old saying hope for the best but plan for the worst is apt. If you build security in from the start it will cost you less in the long run.
3. Reputation and Revenue can be negatively impacted
If your website is affected by a cyber attack it could negatively affect either your reputation, revenue or both. For example, if you treat your website as your storefront, if it were to unexpectedly go offline (or close) this would obviously immediately affect your ability to generate revenue. If your website is hacked and remains offline for an extended period it may cause customers to lose trust in your brand. On top of this, if their personal data is affected, this could lead to bad reviews and negative publicity. More concerning, if your customers’ personal data is affected in a cyberattack, you may be found to be in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
4. Your website could get quarantined
As you know when an individual tests positive for COVID-19 they are asked to quarantine to reduce the possibility of transmission. Your website could suffer a similar state if it suffers a cyberattack. Some of you may be aware of Google’s dreaded “blacklist”. This is where Google quarantines a site they believe may be suspicious or unsafe and therefore poses a threat to visitors.
I’m sure we’ve all seen this in action, you visit a website and you are greeted with a red screen which often contains a message like “This site may harm your system or computer” or “The site ahead contains malware”. This can happen if your site has been hacked or compromised, you haven’t necessarily done anything wrong but hackers are using your site for malicious reasons which have made it unsafe. Being included on the Google blacklist could cause irreparable harm to your organisation, some websites have reported a 95% drop in traffic once their site was quarantined in Google. To avoid being included in this list it is good to have regular vulnerability scans carried out on your website to detect any suspicious vulnerabilities.
Don’t let hackers hamper your organisation. Secora Consulting can assist you in ensuring your business and means of revenue generation are secure to keep your business going through this pandemic. Get in touch.
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