Unless your business is flush beyond compare, chances are you do not employ an in-house digital services manager. It’s highly likely you do not even employ a single IT person. So why are you messing with custom website design, company owned web space, and managing disparate IT properties such as security, storage, e-commerce and all the rest? One of the best signs of leadership is understanding what you don’t know and partnering or with employing those who do. Cobbling together a patchwork of IT products and services leads to your online presence being hijacked.
For hackers, it is shocking how little time and effort it takes to scrape a poorly secured site, assume its identity, or simply break in and realign a site’s content and security configurations. Conversely, for the individuals and businesses who administer these poorly developed sites, these actions can be devastating. Should your small business site be commandeered, shut down, used as a billboard for obscene material, or hijacked in return for ransom, you will find yourself deep in a world of trouble that you are woefully ill-prepared to deal with.
This is why before you make any decisions about your web presence, it is important to understand who is handling your security. To receive the best cyber security for those on a budget, you should consider partnering with a SaaS (Software-as-a-service provider). Platforms such as Squarespace, Strikingly, Wix, Verst and a long list of others provide all-in-one content hosting, design and support to bloggers and small businesses that need a website but know nothing about design or web security.
With pricing anywhere from free (with providing branding and advertisements) to $50 a month with unlimited bandwidth, clean design, e-commerce support, 24/7 site security and customer support, there’s little reason not to enlist a third-party for site management.
Should your site be hacked and used against you for ransom or simply as a means to malign your reputation, you will find the road back to control and security to be exceptionally difficult. Many of these hackers are encrypted to the hilt, and few are caught. Site confiscation and blackmail are real things and, sadly, the tired cliché of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is 100 percent legitimate here.
If you don’t understand how site encryption and security management works, you are not alone – but you have no business running a website. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that running a website is easy because it might end up being the downfall of all your hard work. ♦
Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. Follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb.