This post is the first in a three-part series of articles relating to WordPress security. It examines the importance of securing your WordPress site by taking a look at some of the most important consequences of a security breach.
It is no longer a secret that many businesses now use WordPress as their main content management system when it comes to publishing content on their website. However, there is a common misconception that small businesses do not have to worry about web security or the possibility of their websites being hacked because hackers only focus their attention on medium and large scaled businesses and organisations. Unfortunately, that is a myth – perhaps the biggest we will be addressing in this series because hackers don’t discriminate. Consequently, when it comes to hacking a website, size does not matter and the same applies to the consequences discussed below.
A hacked site can be a nuisance
Let’s face it, you can do without the pain and hassles that often accompany a hacked website. These could vary from receiving several emails and telephone calls from disgruntled customers who are unable to complete a simple task on your site, the inability of staff to find and process important information at any given time, or general distraction from your daily routine and activities.
A hacked site can result in loss of revenue through downtime
Loss of revenue is another potential consequence of a WordPress security breach because they often result in significant downtime. Consequently, the inability of new and returning visitors to use your website for regular business activities as a result of malicious activities could potentially lead to declining revenues and fewer customers.
A hacked site can be punished by search engines
As you will find in the second article of this series (Securing your website against WordPress vulnerabilities), search engines such as Google tend to blacklist websites with poor security. This is in accordance with their goal to make the online browsing experience safe for users. The prevalence of this problem is highlighted by Google’s Safe Browsing System which “shows people more than 5 million warnings per day for all sorts of malicious sites and unwanted software, and discovers more than 50,000 malware sites and more than 90,000 phishing sites every month.”
A hacked site can damage your reputation
Brand or online reputation should matter to every business and nothing builds your company’s reputation more than trust. The average customer needs to know they can trust your business in order to trade with you. However, WordPress security-related issues such as Google Blacklist, inaccessible webpages, unexplainable blackouts or site hijack like the recent ISIS supporters’ hack of western sites do more harm than good in this regard. Indeed, these are only some of the by-products of a hacked website that can easily turn visitors away from your business thereby resulting in sometimes irreparable damage to your business reputation.
A hacked site can be expensive to fix
The vast majority of WordPress website breaches tend to result in additional costs for affected businesses. This could be in the form of breach suppression, investigation, compensations, replacements, crisis management and much more depending on the size of the company. Furthermore, unexpected costs from contractual breaches can also take a large chunk of your office budget and affect future business prospects.
Bearing the above in mind, it is clear that most businesses cannot afford a security breach. Risks such as losing up to 95% of search engine traffic, declining revenue, rising expenses, damaged reputation and so on are just too grave to bear. However, the good news is that by adopting a maintenance culture for your WordPress website, you can protect your business. It is time to focus on taking more precautions and less risks by investing more time into ensuring the security of your WordPress site.
Alternatively, if you cannot afford the time or lack the necessary skills to secure your WordPress site, you should consider taking on a third-party website maintenance package such as the one offered by Internet Creation. While this option tends to require a nominal monthly retainer, it is often the best bet as the long-term benefits outweigh inaction. In times like this, you will find, prevention of emotional, financial, and mental issues associated with a WordPress hack, is always better than cure. You can contact us now for a free consultation.
This is the first post in our three-part series on WordPress security. The second article is titled Securing your Website Against WordPress Vulnerabilities and the third article is titled 10 Practical Ways to Keep your WordPress Site Secure.