The world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures finds that small businesses are vulnerable to website security hacks on its recently released website security report. GoDaddy has commissioned research and analysis of over 65,000 infected website cleanup requests from small business customers from across the globe. They also conducted a survey between May 24 and May 30, 2018 to 1,000 small businesses with between one to five employees on their experience and perspective on cybersecurity.
Due to limited knowledge of online security along with minimal budgets, small business owners are placing protection of their business website as a lower priority, spending only 1 USD to 500 USD a year. Other key findings of the report reveal just how much it can affect business growth. Nearly half of the respondents reported that they are currently suffering from a financial loss due to hacking, with 1 in 8 stating that they have lost more than 5,000 USD in their revenue. 3 out of 10 small enterprises who had their website attacked said that they had to inform their customers and clients which can jeopardize their reputation. With only 30% of operators regularly checking in their website, keeping up on website vulnerabilities is still a challenge. GoDaddy found that in 90% of cases, an infected website was not flagged for malware and blacklisted.
It also indicated that computer viruses, malware, and phishing are the most common types of attacks and can target any aspect of business.
Sophisticated hackers, on the other hand, regularly create backdoors on a compromised website, so they can secretly re-enter a platform even after a file cleanup. A concrete example of this technique is the SEO spam which uses website’s keywords to add malicious links.
While it’s true that cybersecurity measures aren’t hacker-proof, it’s a good idea for small businesses to start to focus on keeping their business website better protected from potential downtime. GoDaddy recommends small business owners invest in a website security monitor service to keep an eye on any red flags or warning signs with 24/7 monitoring, deploy a website application firewall, and register with Google’s webmaster tools which alerts when there is an issue with the website before negatively impacting how it shows in search results. Creating guidelines and training employees for protecting company data, as well as encouraging the usage of strong passwords could also help small enterprises safe online.