The importance of security to small business
April 30, 2013
According to research commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), around 87% of small firms experienced security breaches last year. Because of these ongoing and persistent security breaches, companies are spending more and more on security to keep their businesses up and running - the same report estimated that UK companies spend up to 6% of their annual turnover on protecting their security.
That’s a lot of money, but there’s also a lot at stake. Here’s a list of bad things that can happen if your website is not secure:
- bad customer experience - no one likes a 404 page
- lost revenue - people can’t buy your product or service if you’re constantly under repair!
- data theft - any information that is on your site could be poached and used inappropriately (emails, credit cards, tons of stuff you don’t want getting out!)
- bad brand exposure - will people visit you again if Google says “visiting this website may harm your computer”?
It’s clear that security is not something that can be put off. All companies, big and small, need to think about their security from the moment they launch a website or online service.
There are several free and easy ways to start making your website more secure:
- Strong passwords: a combination of upper and lowercase, spaces, numbers and punctuation can be an effective first layer of defense. Creating distinct passwords for different accounts is also a must. This password strength checker can give some basic ideas of how good is your password.
- Choose your web hosting providers wisely: being on a shared server is one big security risk. Chances of security breaches are multiplied by the number of websites carried by the server, and that is a pretty big number. Look for web hosting providers that understand security. Choosing a isolated or private hosting package is even better.
- Do not forget to update: online security is not static - it’s constantly changing. Software updates usually contain bug fixes and security patches.