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Top 5 Reasons Your Small Business Website is Under Attack
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MikeR519
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MikeR519,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 2:59:39 PM
a good read - important for small business owners
Good read, Chris.  Hacking and phishing attacks are happening all the time.  This morning, I got an email from an attorney I know, asking me to look at something on Google Docs.  The link to the supposed "doc" went to a script on a Canadian Maui Beach rental site.  Neither the attorney nor the small business in Canada knew that their accounts or websites had been attacked.  It's happening all the time and the attacks are getting better and better.  I never click anything without pasting the URL to Notepad first and examining it to make sure it points to where I think it should.

 

 
Chris Weltzien
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Chris Weltzien,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 3:12:18 PM
Re: a good read - important for small business owners
Thanks for the input Mike! Your example is straight from the hackers playbook. By taking control of one small vacation rental site they can wreak havoc. Now scale that by 200,000,000 active public facing websites and you see the scope of the threat! The Cyber Vor guys hacked 450,000 sites (about 0.5% of the total universe) and stole BILLIONS of credentials.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 4:41:54 PM
Re: a good read - important for small business owners
Chris, What do you think is the worst mistake small businesses make when it comes to securing their websites?
Howard Fried
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Howard Fried,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 5:08:02 PM
Keep your website fresh, valuable and alive!
Not only is your guidance "on point", but it is also a good reminder that you should never ignore your website. If you "set it and forget it", likely so will your readers or potential customers. Keeping the content on your website relevant and up to date is just as important as keeping it safe for your visitors. By paying attention to your content and message on a regular basis, you engage your visitors and bring them back again. It is hard enough to get the first visit, so don't blow it by getting your site visitors infected with malware or trojans. As you clearly demonstrate, getting your website hacked can happen easily to anyone. Setting up automated monitoring is a powerful step toward keeping everyone safe. Valuable and timely article.

 

 

 
Chris Weltzien
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Chris Weltzien,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 6:46:51 PM
Re: a good read - important for small business owners
Good question Marilyn. Unfortunately, we see many "worst mistakes" being made. The best catch all advice is for a small business to treat their website as if it were a PC. Everything that has been hammered home about PC security applies to the website -- admins need to have secure passwords, applications need to be updated, daily security scans should be scheduled and problems need to be fixed -- and someone needs to have the explicit responsibility within the company for making sure this happens.
wkilmer
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wkilmer,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 7:53:02 PM
Re: a good read - important for small business owners
Chris, you laid out the issues well.  I have worked with a lot of company boards recently and have been interested at how concerned they are about vulnerabilities and website hacking. Without those assurances that come from vulnerabiltiy scanning I think many companies run the risk of losing potential customers that may not even do business with them.  Is there, in your opinion, a way for small businesses that do take their website security seriously to make that an advantage for them with regards to winning new customers over their competitors?
Corey Bridges
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Corey Bridges,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 7:57:51 PM
Sobering!
Good lord--I had no idea that sites were so vulnerable. I've got several small sites--and one soon-to-be-big site; I had definitely been in the "We're too small to be a target" mindset, but now I consider myself schooled. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised--the game of "leapfrog" between hacker and defender is ongoing.
Chris Weltzien
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Chris Weltzien,
User Rank: Author
8/26/2014 | 10:13:11 PM
Re: Keep your website fresh, valuable and alive!
Exactly, Howard. Its a dynamic world, and small businesses in particular need to make sure their websites as up to date with information and security. 
Paul V.W825
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Paul V.W825,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2014 | 10:22:25 PM
What about solutions?
Small business owner have other things to worry about than defeating "hackers" (like thier actual business). Don't website hosting providers have something in place so that I don't have to worry about this stuff?
Chris Weltzien
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Chris Weltzien,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 12:52:35 AM
Re: What about solutions?
Paul you point out a common misconception. Most hosting companies provide security only for the web server itself, not the websites that reside on the server. Often small business owners don't have the time or resources to drill down on this critical delineation. Fortunately, there is an early trend in the hosting space to offer 3rd party website security services tailored for this market (the cost for hosting companies to keep repairing hacked sites is becoming a significant burden). At 6Scan our automated service is an advanced low-touch solution designed for small businesses and there are a few other options including SiteLock and Sucuri.
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