Having self-employed and business owner friends generally means a part of our downtime conversations involve us picking each others brains about our respective areas of expertise.
It’s a great benefit to having friends in different professions and we’re all lucky to be in such a situation. I’m sure you’ve all done it and I’m guessing it went a little like this:
“You’re a (insert profession here), what should I do if…”
“I’ve got this problem…”
“How do you sort…”
This particular weekend turned out to be my turn, focusing on business website security (plus other things) and raising the question:
Why would a hacker attack my business website?
I don’t have anything valuable. I don’t have credit card details or anything worth stealing.
This single question inevitably resulted in a debate that provided further insight into how business/self-employed people generally see website development and maintenance:
- Once a website is built that’s the end. It’s done now so I don’t need to look at it again.
- I paid you enough money to build the website so why would I need to keep paying you to look after it? It should just work.
- My website isn’t of any value to hackers because I don’t have anything of value to steal.
Needless to say,
Ignorance is bliss (until something goes wrong, then it sucks)
People are either unaware of what to expect or have preconceived ideas about what a website should be, how it should be developed and how much they should pay.
Often stating that website maintenance isn’t as big a deal as building because you don’t need to do as much (this is true in part but not when there’s a new threat!).
Unfortunately, this is not the case (we would love it to be) however, website maintenance is a big deal, taking time, knowledge and awareness.
A perfectly good example would be the following:
It’s similar to buying an owning a car.
When you buy a car everything is great but we all know that a car has to go for a service and MOT to make sure that everything is working okay. Otherwise things can go drastically wrong and end up costing you a fortune when you could have nipped the problem in the bud before it escalated.
This is the same situation with websites. You have to regularly service your website to mitigate against future problems.
However, there is one major difference:
The world of the internet is constantly changing and evolving.
It is our job as website developers and consultants to keep up-to-date with new developments, threats and techniques so we can allow you to focus on your business.
With the added pressure of somehow forecasting and preventing the bad things that could happen and reacting quickly enough to protect you and your business when they do happen.
It can be like changing the locks, engine immobilizer, key lock code and alarm system every week (if not more often with the increased number of threats)!
The plan was to write a piece about this, explaining why it is important, providing insight and justifying the fees charged.
However, it would appear that we were beaten to the punch and a study has already been performed. Answering the question:
“Why would a hacker attack my website? I don’t have anything valuable. I don’t have credit card details or anything worth stealing.”
Have a look at this article that explains “What Hackers Do With Compromised WordPress Sites.”
Here’s a little insight into what was found. Out of 873 respondents the top reason for a hacked site was to deface your website or to take it offline! (slightly over 25% of cases)
When hackers deface websites they replace your content with their own.
“The most common was political content from terrorist groups and the like. The next most common was hackers simply bragging that they hacked your site.”
If you have a business website and you’ve asked the above question you need to read this article because your perspective will massively change after reading this article.
“No-one is immune or off the menu when it comes to hacking.”
Hopefully you will also understand just how much your website developer/online consultant does and the value of having a good one.
Please share this with anyone you think would benefit from reading this (Steve the builder, Robert the accountant, Jean the coffee shop owner and other self-employed/business owners).