Welcome to the second installment of Web Security And You, this week, I’d like to talk about how a lack of web security can impact your small business website. Last week, when we covered the “how” and “why” of cyber-attacks, we briefly touched on a few of the negative effects of lacking security: site downtime and effort wasted implementing complicated repairs. Today, let’s go a little more in depth… let’s take a look at some of the measurable, immediate and lasting issues that an attack on your website can cause.
The most common effect of online intrusions is a disruption of your business’ services. While this may seem like small potatoes in comparison to something like a compromised customer database, I assure you that the ramifications are, nevertheless, extremely grave. Imagine going to the grocery store to find that it is closed during its normal operating hours… what do you do? You still need groceries so, of course, you go somewhere else. Now, the next time you need groceries the first thing you’ll think of is how the store was closed the last time you went there. Would you go back? What if they’re closed again?
These are the kinds of questions that you don’t want your customers asking.
A reliable, secure website instills a certain level of trust within your customers. If you break that trust, you might as well deliver your clients into the hands of your competitors. Just like brick-and-mortar stores, customers expect your online doors to be open in a consistent, predictable way. When a cyberattack shutters those doors, it forces visitors to look elsewhere and gives your competitors the window they need to convert your customers into theirs.
Beyond simple convenience, customers who arrive at a hacked website — or worse, have their personal information compromised — may find it difficult to trust that your business is capable of protecting their identities. In this day and age, no business can afford to develop a reputation for having a poorly-secured e-commerce system. I mean, would you use your credit card at a restaurant that posted the numbers onto a public bulletin board at the entrance? Would you write a check to a company that pasted them onto telephone poles around the neighborhood?
Remember: if you preserve your customers, they will preserve you.
Of course, there are hundreds of other negative effects of having insecure website… diminished brand presence, short-term revenue loss and potential legal consequences are among them. However, in the long term, your business simply cannot afford to be lax about your customers’ private, personal information nor can it withstand the inevitable migration of clients who are dissatisfied with your website’s downtime.
At Imagine Monkey, we want to keep the doors of your company website open by closing up all possible vulnerabilities, loopholes and insecure entry points. We know that maintaining your customer’s trust is crucial to running a profitable, lasting business. In the past, we’ve secured hundreds of local business websites, we’ve helped them retain old customers and cultivate new customers. In the future, we’d love to add your company’s name to that list.