Website Security in 2017 – How Real Are The Threats?

“An Estimated Thirty Seven Thousand Websites Hacked Daily”

(Hostingfacts.com)

The most surprising thing about this website security stat is that, in 2017, we’re not surprised by it! You could even say that we’re now accustomed with online security disasters, simply due to the almost daily reports of businesses experiencing major breaches. Not only is the size of besieged organisations not a factor, but online criminality plagues every industry and geographic location on earth.

In today’s digital age there’s really not a lot that’s sacred, and plenty of forces exist “out there” that are more than willing and totally able of causing unrepairable and crippling damage to businesses. Of course, the topic of website security has always featured heavily and has at times been dogged by scare stories (ahem…Millennium Bug) creating misconceptions that have disguised the real steps needed to solve issues.

A popular misconception amongst the business community is that “hackers wouldn’t care about our website”. The simple truth is that the overwhelming majority of online attacks are automated, with pre-programmed software (bots) developed by hackers to automatically and constantly crawl the web for vulnerable sites. These bots can then plant malicious bugs, access databases to steal personal information on us and our customers, or delete it completely. I’ll leave it to you to decide what’s worse.

Today’s websites have become more complex with businesses (rightly) generating ever greater interaction with its online visitors. This is something i3 Digital knows is essential in the race to be relevant and attractive to any customer base, so in no way do we promote reducing engagement online. Unfortunately, the unintentional consequence of such strategies can be heightened security loopholes and vulnerabilities within a company’s online existence. Vulnerabilities can be even more common for sites that store sensitive user data (such as personal details and credit card numbers), which are worth more to hackers and thus attract even more unwanted attention.

Online Security-min

Another consequence of the increasing evolution and complexity of websites is that software releases are happening more frequently, meaning software that companies purchased a few years ago may now be obsolete and without necessary updates and security patches. This is true of any technology platform, highlighting the double-edged sword of software evolution.

The only truly secure website is one that does not exist…which really doesn’t help anyone! Where data exists, there will always be potential for it to be viewed, manipulated, and extracted by hackers and online criminals. All businesses must focus on eliminating their known vulnerabilities, be proactive in scheduling regular security audits, and establish website security measures to protect their future. Remember, skilled work isn’t cheap…and cheap work isn’t skilled. Whether you ever use i3 Digital or not, please ensure that any third party vendors have the right security credentials, such as ISO and CTC certifications.

To learn more about your website’s security or have it audited for free, get in touch.

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