With WordPress Security, Be Proactive, Not Reactive

"We're too small for hackers to target us. And if we have a problem, we'll take care of it then." I've heard responses like this many times over the years, when I ask clients about the security of their WordPress websites. They seem to think that hackers only hit giant companies. They also think that if they do have an incident, it won't be a big deal.

The reality is that with WordPress security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The effort required to proactively reduce the risk of being hacked is far less than the effort required to reactively recover from the hacking of a WordPress site.

Target Acquired

"We're too small for hackers to target us."

Even if no one is specifically targeting your website, it's at risk from many digital dangers. Hackers use automated tools to scan the Web for vulnerable websites. They don't need to know that your website exists before they find it. They can then use automated tools or manual effort to attack the sites they find.

Don't think that your relative anonymity provides protection. Although you may avoid some targeted attacks by not being a high-profile business, your site is far from invisible and untouchable.

Potential Damage

"We don't keep any important data in our website, so if we were hacked, it wouldn't be a big deal."

To understand the importance of protecting a WordPress site, you need to grasp the damage hackers could do to your business by exploiting your website.

  • Deface site: Hackers could change your website to display offensive text, images, or video.
  • Delete data: Hackers could delete data from your website, including pages visible to the public, and data stored in the website (user accounts, form submissions, etc.).
  • Distribute malware: Hackers could place malware on your website, which will be distributed to users when they visit your website.
  • Steal user data: Hackers could put scripts on your site that steal the data of website users as they fill in forms on your site. This could include financial info or personally-identifiable info.
  • Deny service: Hackers could use a denial of service (DoS) attack to make your site slow or unavailable to legitimate users.

Unfortunately, it's not only the technical aspect of these attacks you need to consider. There's also the potential legal action and financial losses due to regulatory fines, potential litigation from users damaged by your infected website, and damage to your business' reputation.

Take a moment to think about the time and money that could be involved in recovering from one of these website attacks. Often it's far more than a year (or even multiple years) of maintenance and security services to prevent them.

Reducing Risk

As long as you have a website available on the Web, you'll have some amount of risk. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't put any effort into protecting it. Just because you can't reduce the risk of a home break-in to zero, do you stop closing and locking your windows and doors? No, you realize that you'd rather be proactive about keeping dangerous people out of your house than being reactive once they're already inside.

If you'd rather pay for an ounce of prevention to avoid later paying for a pound of cure for your WordPress website, contact us!

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