Every second, cybercriminals hack at least one website. More than 350 million websites are hacked annually by carefully planned cyberattacks, and, unfortunately, this unwanted trend has remained fairly constant in recent years.
Every second, cybercriminals hack at least one website.
More than 350 million websites are hacked annually by carefully planned cyberattacks, and, unfortunately, this unwanted trend has remained fairly constant in recent years.
For a small business, avoiding being a part of these sad statistics is the hardest. With 87 percent of consumers starting product search online, having a good-looking website is absolutely necessary for a small business to survive and thrive in the ever-changing, highly competitive online marketplace.
However, a hacked website is a much more serious problem for a micro-business than for an enormous company. For hackers, targeting websites of micro-businesses makes perfect sense because:
Small businesses don’t have the resources to handle a customer data breach
Small businesses often lack security tools to protect their websites from cyberattacks effectively
Some owners of small businesses ignore many security-related requirements because of a tight budget, a lack of a web security specialist, or a lack of time to handle web security matters
Many people working in small businesses don’t have the skills to set up a reasonable protection system
Small businesses don’t have the money to spend on advanced cyber defense systems
Small businesses have the data hackers are after, including protected health information, credit card numbers, phone numbers, etc.
So, being a micro-business doesn’t mean that you’re too small and insignificant to attract the attention of hackers. In fact, you’re their target of choice because it’s easier to bring your platform down for good. On top of that, a hacked website often means game over for micro-businesses. For example, Inc. reported that 60 percent of small businesses that sustained cyberattacks close within 6 months after the incident.
Despite this, a lack of a cybersecurity policy is common among small businesses. In fact, this recent report from Vistage and Cisco found that more than 60 percent of them didn’t have an updated or active strategy for defending themselves from cyber threats.
Clearly, the threat of having a website hacked is very real for micro-businesses, so building a framework for mitigating this risk is absolutely vital to long-term success.
That’s why let’s make sure that as a micro-business owner or employee, you know how to protect your WordPress website and avoid data breaches. In this article, you’ll find eight simple yet powerful techniques to increase website security on a WordPress website that you can use to reduce the risk of getting sensitive data stolen.
Myths about Hackers and Small Businesses that You Should Know
Before we dive into the security tips, let’s talk about the importance of having a good understanding of the need to take web security seriously for micro-business owners. As it was already mentioned above, many of them disregard the importance of having web security systems and regular checks, and one reason for this is the notion that micro-businesses are simply boring to hackers.
Well, could be further from the truth, so let’s go over the most common myths about hackers and small businesses real quick so you know the real deal.
Myth #1: Cybercriminals Prefer to Target Large Businesses because They Have a Lot of Sensitive Customer Data
Fact: Most hackers go after small businesses because they don’t have advanced protection systems but still can provide customer data
Myth #2: The Police will Protect my Small Business from a Cyberattack
Fact: in most cases, law enforcement agencies lack resources and properly trained staff to monitor and/or predict cyberattacks on small businesses. Moreover, catching a cybercriminal responsible for stealing sensitive customer data is also extremely difficult, as many attacks are becoming more sophisticated.
Myth #3: My Small Business Doesn’t Have Anything Valuable for Hackers
Fact: “If you sell products or services to customers, you have their credit card numbers, personally identifiable information, and other data that hackers can potentially use for their scams,” says Brandon Moore, a security specialist from Trust My Paper. “This means that every small business has something that cybercriminals are looking for.”
Myth #4: If I don’t have the Budget for Expensive Protection Systems, my Business is Doomed
Fact: a lack of an expensive security system doesn’t mean that your WordPress website is easy to hack. In fact, there’s a lot of easy - and free - things that you can do to achieve a reasonable security level and fight back many attacks, including spam and brute force attacks.
Without further ado, let’s talk about these things now.
8 Ways to Protect the Data on WordPress Websites
Basics First: A Strong Password
Even though this one seems pretty obvious, you would be astonished by the fact that thousands of WordPress users out there use ridiculously easy passwords that are easy to hack. For example, according to a recent survey of passwords that have been hacked, these were the most popular options:
“12345”: 23.2 million accounts
“123456789”: 7 million accounts
“Qwerty” and “password”: 3 million accounts.
For cybercriminals, these passwords make hacking a website much easier, so having a weak password is simply not an option for you. That’s why you should ensure that the following accounts have strong passwords: