Cybersecurity is a hot topic at the moment – and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. Cybercrime reports increased by 2,000% in 2020 as the world was simultaneously battling a global pandemic. Ever since then, it’s been on a rapid rise.
In more recent news, the political unrest happening in Russia and other parts of Europe has further contributed to the rise of digital crime. Security experts are preparing for even more strategic, intense cyberattacks – and you should be, too.
If you’re like most modern businesses, you rely heavily on your website for the majority of your leads or sales. Now is the time to protect your site and its valuable data. Increasing your security should be a top priority.
Not convinced you’re at risk? Here are just a few of the key reasons to invest in the best website security possible.
1. The Frequency & Cost of Cybercrime Is Increasing
Unfortunately, the number of hacks, data breaches, and cybercrimes rises every year. As mentioned, reports of cybercrimes like website hacks and data breaches spiked in 2020. Now, cybercrime issues (and the costs of recuperation) have been on a steady incline and are predicted to grow by 15% through 2025.
The true cost of cyberattacks is difficult to measure. In terms of the financial impact, most small businesses have to shell out over $25,000 to recuperate from a significant attack. However, many companies have lost far more – hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Because the cost of each crime is getting higher, your business could easily go bankrupt if victimized by a serious attack or data breach. Investing in solid website security is like having an insurance policy – the more you invest in protection, the better off you will be in the case of an emergency.
2. Your Brand’s Reputation Is on the Line
One of the incalculable costs of cybercrime is the damage it can do to your business’s reputation. Trust is crucial to gaining and retaining customers, especially when you’re interacting with them online.
The cost of even a small data hack on your website could be insurmountable as you lose both current and future customers. Consumers will lose all trust in your business if they are notified of a data breach or hack involving your company.
This could even affect you before a cybercrime ever occurs. These days, customers are wary of shopping on unfamiliar websites – especially those without clear privacy policies and security measures. A recent survey found that 50% of respondents have left an online store without a purchase because they didn’t trust the site’s security or legitimacy.
If your site is the victim of a data breach, your reputation with search engines could be at risk, too. Google blacklists websites for suspicious activity. If this happened to your site, it either wouldn’t rank highly in SERPs anymore, or it may display a warning message whenever someone clicks on your site through Google.
You should be doing all you can to build and maintain customer trust when it comes to data. Aside from investing in the best website security, you should be transparent with customers about your management. Let them know exactly what data you collect and how it will be used, and be sure to display your security measures on your website. Also, consider offering an opt-out button for customers who prefer not to share their data.
3. Your Digital Assets Are At-Risk
When most people think of cybercrimes, they assume hackers are looking for financial information like credit card data or routing numbers. While this is certainly true, cybercriminals may also be after more than just your customer’s financial information.
Your business’s proprietary information could be targeted via your website. This includes data like private systems or even applications for patents. If a cybercriminal can get their hands on this important information, it could ruin your business and bring operations to a screeching halt.
Hackers also target business credentials and other forms of personal information that may be stored on your website. Sensitive information such as social security numbers and addresses gathered about employees for tax purposes could be at risk. Verizon’s data security report found that personal data and credentials were generally the targets of business cyberattacks.
Viruses can also impact the physical assets your business relies on for sales, such as the actual servers and computers used to host your website. This could cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace, on top of your other costs.
4. Stricter Regulations Are Likely Coming
In the United States, most laws related to cybersecurity are related to data privacy. This includes the standard procedure that businesses must follow after a cybercrime incident occurs, like notifying customers.
While there aren’t currently many laws regarding website security compliance, this is likely to change soon.
In 2016, the European Union passed the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is one of the strictest laws for data protection. This allows the EU to fine any companies that do not meet security regulations. It also requires businesses to regularly assess their website’s security systems and review controls.
The US is likely to follow down a similar path – soon. In March of 2022, the Senate unanimously passed a bill enforcing stricter rules for cyber incident notification requirements.
To Sum It All Up
If you’re not a tech expert, navigating website security can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming. Still, investing in a safe website is more important than ever.
Since cyberattacks are getting more complex and frequent every day, even the best website security systems need to be constantly monitored and updated. It’s no longer an option to put off investing in site security.
All businesses need someone to handle the task of building and maintaining a secure website. Ayokay can help to put your mind at ease with our website maintenance services. Not only can we help you optimize your website’s performance, but we also ensure the highest security measures.
To learn more about our maintenance formula, and the other website and marketing services we provide, connect with us online. Someone from the Ayokay team will respond to you as soon as possible.
Jack Shepler is a Marketing and Search Engine Optimization expert. He founded Ayokay, award-winning marketing, and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana that has built brands, increased sales for businesses, and helped nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions since 2011. He uses his decades of experience to educate through the Ayokay blog and through public speaking. You can follow him on LinkedIn.